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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

November 2013

~A Dog Named ‘Lucky’~


“Grant me daily the grace of gratitude, to be thankful for all my many gifts, and so be freed from
artificial needs, that I might lead a joyful, simple life.”
~Edward Hays

 

Dear Members and Friends,

            An advertisement was run on Craigslist. “Lost dog, unknown breed: brown fur, much fur missing due to mange; blind in one eye; hard of hearing; limps from being hit by a car; missing a few teeth; stubby-tail due to chainsaw accident; slow-moving and arthritic.  Answers to the name ‘Lucky’.”  Personally, I’m not a big believer in luck, which is just another name for the old Roman goddess, Fortuna. But, for lack of a more descriptive word, wouldn’t you count yourself a “lucky” dog if somebody cared enough to seek you out when you went missing?  That mangy, half blind, arthritic old dog is lucky because someone loves him enough to go searching for him when he’s lost.  Despite all his disadvantages—maybe in part because of them—someone worries about his safety and longs for his return.

            But that's how affection works.  Like you, I'm sometimes tempted to dwell on my shortcomings, which admittedly are about as numerous as Lucky's.  Of course, it's not my physical imperfections that concern me—though I foresee some difficulty in making the impending transition to bifocals.  Unless we're incurably vain, it's typically the less visible flaws that trouble us.  But don't you think that love shines all the brighter when its rays penetrate the clouds of our personal failings and defects?  The less perfect we are, the more grateful we come to feel for being accepted, and loved, and known.  A traditional Scottish prayer of thanksgiving says this:

            I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of Life Itself. As the sun brightens up the sky and earth, may my soul be bright with gratitude for all the good things in my life.  May I be generous in sharing these with others.  I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of Life Itself.  As the trees, rivers, animals and everything sing their songs of life, may my soul sing the song of my heart. May I sing gladly whether in joy or in sorrow,  and may it  help me find humor and laughter in the day. I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of Life itself. As the sun crosses the sky to where it will set in the west, may my soul proceed on its journey through life.  May I keep the vision of my life ever before me and may I have faith that my life has meaning.  I give thanks that I have risen again today and to  the Great Rising of Life Itself.  As everything in nature strives to live and survive, may my soul be strong in its struggles.  May I meet adversity with courage and hope.  I give thanks that I have risen again today and to the Great Rising of Life Itself.  As the earth spreads out from me to the horizon, may my soul expand to embrace it.  May I speak the truth of the land and take responsibility for my life.

            Gratitude is surely the heart of faith.  Of course, Lucky doesn’t even know how lucky he really is.  He just goes limping through life, licking the hands of those who are kind to him.  Maybe, in this season of Thanksgiving, we could learn a lesson from that?

 

Christ's Peace,
~Brian