'Thanksgiving' finds joy and treasures in routine

"Count Your Blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done."

These are words to a hymn that I heard on a regular basis growing up as a preacher’s kid.  Gratitude was a daily part of the home in which I was raised and always present even in the midst of difficulties.

The word gratitude was made bigger for me many years ago by my friend, entertainer and theologian Grady Nutt, who died in 1982. 

Grady left a legacy of stories that continue to enrich my life.  One is titled THANKSLIVING.

THANKSLIVING was prompted by an encounter with Wesley Alexander who was seated next to Grady on an airplane.  Wesley was a high school senior on spring vacation who wanted to be a psychiatrist to “help people’s minds”.

During their conversation, Grady asked, “You have any hobbies?”  “just doin’ it” was the answer.  When Grady asked what he meant, he said, “You know….just bein’.”

“Just being….his hobby!”  JUST BEING!  That response spoke to Grady of a special attitude the young man lived – and thus THANKSLIVING was born.

THANKSLIVING was defined for us as an attitude that finds treasure in the plowed field of routine…an eye for perspective, for color, harmony and balance, that sees how ‘all things work together for good’….that has an ear for the cry of pain, the laugh of joy, the dirge of woe and the lyric of delight…the hollow echo of lonely, the vibes of together, the whisper of help, the shout of love.

THANKSLIVING.  A touch for appropriate, for right, for compassion, for care, for simpatico…for grief, for anger, for all meaningful deep feeling…an umbrella in rain/a convertible in sun... wool for a sheep in winter/shears in spring…salt on meat/sugar in tea…coping/hoping.

THANKSLIVING. Seeing that the beauty of life is in its pace, direction, movement, ebb/now…falling in line with its current… conquering in adversity…rejoicing in joyful splendor.

THANKSLIVING.  To live and give, to “do it…” to make a “hobby of being.” 

Thanks Grady Nutt.  Thanks Wesley Alexander. You are among the many blessings I count this day.

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