On my list of things I am thankful for today is the ability to stay in touch with people through the phone, text messages, email, Facebook, as well as with “virtual” meetings, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger Video. Yesterday I had a WhatsApp live video conversation with two of my granddaughters, a Zoom meeting with some of my clergy colleagues from other Woodstock churches, a brief video via text message from my oldest granddaughter who was practicing field hockey reverse stick shots on goal on an empty field, and more than the usual number of emails. Even our propane gas provider sent me an email alerting me to how they are handling COVID 19! Who knew they were my friends! While I am intentionally cutting back on obsessively checking my news feeds (which only increases my anxiety), I relish the fact that although I can’t hug or shake hands, or even visit with friends or family face-to-face, the blessing of all this technology is that we can love on each other from a distance, with our words and gestures.
Second on my list of thanks are plumbers and scented! The sewer line that serves St. Paul’s as well as a neighbor got backed up sometime Monday. We could smell trouble brewing on Tuesday. That’s where the scented candles come in. I am thankful to Becky for providing them, a sweet offering at this time. I am especially thankful that the plumbers arrived – three trucks in all – to clear things out. Life with all of its challenges – and blessings – continues.
We are reminded over and over again in the Bible to give thanks – not for all things, but in all things. For example, 1 Thessalonians 5:15 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” God knows how we are made, knows that anxiety and worry are a part of being human, and that turning our focus to things for which we can be thankful, helps in times of difficulty.
With thanks, not for COVID 19, but in this opportunity to slow down and reflect about who and what really matters, including you!