I know.  It is borrowed.  Like the ground where my home sits, the air I breathe, and the wife I love: all lent to me for a time.

That may help in thank yous and thanksliving with which I am struggling today.  This may be the only “I am struggling with thanksgiving” blog of the day, but I still must800px-Fall_Leaves write it.

You know the aggravations: a letter from the IRS, your phone is shattered, now you can’t finish the building project in time for someone to use it – again, and your body is betraying you in new ways. Beautiful leaves that must be raked. . . .  Whine.  Complain, and so on.

Entitled.  I don’t like it when I sense it in others, and like any adolescent; I can’t smell it seeping out of my own skin, covering my eyes, nullifying my touch, pervading my thoughts.

I act as if any of it really belongs to me.  Studies on empowerment show ugly things about us, and the attitude comes quickly with very little at stake.

But, all is on loan.  All will be “turned back in” in, well, a shorter time than I probably think.  Even with my beloved, our vows we spoke said, ” ‘Til death us do part.”

King David said, “Like a servant looks to the hand of his Master, so I look to the ‘Giver of all Good Gifts’.”  David, a king, was smart to know he owned much the same as his servants.  Nothing.  He was steward of an entire country, though.  That heavy weight made him profoundly “response-able”.

Thanking Someone for what has been loaned makes more sense than thanking yourself once a year for what you think is yours ‘by right’.  If it were yours, couldn’t you hold on to it one second after death?

So, my question today is, “Does my thanksliving attitude make me more response-able?”  And, “Does my response-able preparedness make me more creative and innovative?”

Like a clueless man, staring at the hand of the Giver of All Good Gifts I alternately cringe and grow expectant.  I suspect David’s translation is smarter.

So, I’m grateful for my next breath, dinner tomorrow with the family, wind, leaves I am able to rake, and you.  For the time we’ve been loaned.

The Storm and the Stream

Life goes by.  Inalterably, unchangeably, as if we have no words to describe or defy it.

Some days it goes by as a storm, tempestuous, depressing, assaulting our senses and thinking.  Overwhelming us, stepping back as if only to make we are fully awake for the next onslaught.

Some days (hours, minutes, take whatever it offers) it flows by as an idyllic stream.  Dazzling with light in the sun, the grass and surrounding trees alternating in green, fallish colors and snow; it takes away your breath.  Quiets your soul.  Whispers hope into your spirit.

But it goes by.  The Psalmist said, “as if the mist on the lake is burned away by the noonday sun.”  It is never not going by.  So live it.  Wade out into it.  Swim when you must.  Bask for the minutes afforded; and if anyone should ask, say, “I am profoundly grateful.  Ever thankful for the ride.”  Even in the storm.