Daily wine and a season of thanksgiving
by Ken Rolheiser
The pro football team was practicing when a large turkey strutted onto the field. While they all gazed in amazement, the turkey caught pass after pass and ran right through the defensive line. The coach offered him a signing bonus on the spot. "Forget the bonus," the turkey said, "All I want to know is, does the season go past Thanksgiving Day?"

We are in the season of thanksgiving, and in the U. S. this season is celebrated in November and merges into Christmas shopping. So much to be thankful for! But what keeps us from the true attitude of grace and thanksgiving?

I believe in the sun
even when it isn't shining.
I believe in love
even when I do not feel it.
I believe in God
even when he is silent. 

These words were found scrawled on a cellar wall where Jews had hidden in World War II in Cologne, Germany. In the very midst of the horror of war, someone declared their faith in a God who does not always answer us as we wish.

Living a life of gratitude for all God’s blessings may take effort and faith. At times we are not up for the challenge, given our tendency to see negative situations around us. But it is up to us! “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves” ( Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar I, ii, 140).

What keeps us from striving for the gold? Why are we not the best we can be? Our role in the Kingdom is one that no one else can do. No one else is in our place and no one else can do what we can do, with God’s Grace.

Methodist John Wesley shared this philosophy:
Make all you can
Save all you can
Give all you can

Wesley made over thirty million dollars in his life time but died with nothing. You could say there was a method to his life plan.

In “The Blessing of Unanswered Prayers” by an Unknown Confederate soldier we hear these thoughts.

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

If we walk in God’s love and Grace, it is hard not to be grateful. If we use our senses to enjoy the Creator’s gifts, then:
Every day we can drink life’s wine
And every day we can feel fine.

(522 words)