Wednesday, November 21, 2018

So Much to Be Grateful For

One of my favorite movies is “The Book of Eli.”  In the movie, a young lady named Solara asks Eli what the world was like before nuclear war and he responded:

“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn’t. We threw away things people kill each other for now.”

In the movie, things like gloves, scarves and hotel shampoo are valuable commodities.  Water is more valuable than anything.  I know for most of us, the thought of a world like that is inconceivable.  We all have so much to be grateful for, yet it’s so easy to forget our blessings and let the stress of everyday life overwhelm us. It’s sad to think that we live in a world that has so much abundance but still have people who are hungry, homeless, and sometimes destitute.   

I was working with a friend of mine a few years ago and we were leaving work at the end of the day.  I rolled down my window and handed a guy some money at an off-ramp. The gentleman with me asked if I did that all the time and I responded, “No.”   Somewhat perplexed, he then asked me why I did it sometimes, but not others.  I told him that sometimes I feel led to do it, and sometimes I do not.  That's just the truth and it was good enough for him.             
I think society has created a world that often makes responsibility irrelevant and causes us to believe that some things are important when they really are not.  Many people will put the importance of a cell phone, a bad habit, or an inflated image over things that truly matter.  I think that in the end, when a person has wasted much of their life on things that really do not matter, the most significant feeling they leave this world with, is regret.

I have always been a grateful person.  That is how I was raised and I am glad l that I was taught to appreciate whatever I have.  Challenging circumstances can also put a person in a situation that is very difficult to overcome. I realize that sometimes it may be a person’s own fault.  But you don’t always know what someone has really been through. In a world where families are becoming smaller, I think in the years to come people will not have near as many loved ones to rely on as they get older.

I have so many great memories of spending the holidays with my family and friends and I’ll always be grateful just for that.  As time moves forward and some of those people have passed away, I appreciate those memories even more.  I have said the prayer before we eat in the Brafford family since I was about 12 years old.   One never knows when the Holy Spirit will overwhelm you.  For me, it comes fast and it comes furious.  I was in total control last year when we started the blessing and 10 seconds later, it really hit me that Mema Brafford was not there.  It was all I could do to get through the prayer without completely losing it. 

This Thanksgiving, take the time to appreciate the people you care about.  Keep your family and friends in mind that are going through challenges.  North Carolina was devastated by hurricanes and flooding this year and many of those people are still recovering.  Keep all of those people in your thoughts and prayers.  I think in a world that is often moving faster than we can keep up, we all need to take the time to be grateful for all of our blessings. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!