Today is absolutely my favorite holiday. I remain convinced that if we could all wake up every day to Thanksgiving day, many of the world's challenges would be conquered. I know many of my own would be. An exception would have to be made for Bill Murray, of course, who must be stuck somewhere living in a never ending Groundhog Day because I've not seen him since that movie.
But I was having a discussion, Facebook style, with a good friend last week. He had posted an article an expert had written about one of our many world problems. After going into great detail about how the problem came to be, the author concluded his piece with the observation that the problem was "perhaps impossible to solve."
That was when it hit me that most of us experts are really only experts at identifying problems. And in doing so, we have the freedom to paint pictures of problems that on canvas appear impossible to solve. The more problems we can define that are clearly beyond repair, the more we make attempts to solve even the first one look utterly foolish. Which, since experts are the first to recognize when a problem has become impossible to solve, they are conveniently the first ones absolved from doing anything about it.
As a possible expert, I was forced to test my theory. How many problems have I identified as impossible to solve, or at least - very, very hard? And how many have I spent time trying to solve? That's what I thought; I'm an expert.
In fairness to myself and all other experts, it's easy to hop on that train. Our media and social networks are jammed pack with stories about just how far down the wrong path our society has gone. Most days you won't find a hint of encouragement from those sources that things could possibly get better, let alone any direction as to where you might start to apply your own efforts to that end. Let's face it, it's mentally and physically less draining to define a problem than solve it.
But then I heard something last Sunday that was both the encouragement and direction I'm talking about. Our pastor made the following observation: We live in a world where people desire things and use people to get them. When in reality, we were made to love people, and use things to bless them.
With that statement, the hours and hours of expert opinions I had read, heard, and written, were reduced to that one observation. Because yes, if we're living outside the purpose of our creation, there are going to be problems. Ever seen a car try to drive on water? And as big as all of those problems appear, it can't be denied that if every person woke up this Thanksgiving morning and challenged themselves, not others but themselves, to use their things to bless others, what then would those problems look like?
I am thankful this Thanksgiving for the endless people who have used their things and means in life to bless me. It is my prayer today that I will live closer to my purpose, to love people, all people, and use the many blessings I have in life to bless them.
And may no small portion of those blessings go to our two favorite turkeys: