With this post I am making good on a promise that I made to my brother, Why. The promise was that I would steal the format of one of his recent posts for a post of my own. I am also honoring the request of a friend, but, to be truthful, the roots of this post are nevertheless mostly grounded in thievery. However, I've decided to give this stolen item my own twist (surprise!). And seeing as how recently I've come to see the practice of giving thanks as a key element of our beautiful Gospel, this seemed like a good way to do that.
So you see that I'm killing three or four birds with one stone here. But please, poultry genocide aside, join me as I toss this
stone up to glory seeking to give thanks to my Creator. And who knows? Perhaps this will be the first of many thanksgiving posts to come.
To begin with basics, Lord, I give thanks for ultimate frisbee. And for Mt. Tabor park even though there's no good spot to play ultimate frisbee up there. This is why I also give thanks for Berrydale park; it's name makes me think of the asylum in Arsenic and Old Lace, but it has a long stretch of grass, and that counts for something.
I give thanks for rain. For running in the rain. For running in the rain on Mt. Tabor park, in the morning when there is a fog in the air and in the trees.
I thank you, God for my friend who's name I don't want to say on the Internet and who goes running three times a week with Why and myself rain or shine, though of course, because he's from California, he'd prefer it were shine. Also I should say that Why and I go running with him, since he's been doing this longer. I thank you most of all for his willingness to listen, I thank you that you brought him into my life at one of its darkest points. Thank you for bringing me out of that darkness. (Don't let me go back.)
Thank you for artists who show me other ways to do things. Thank you that you are far more creative or imaginative than any human. I don't think I could worship a God whom I could out daydream. Thank you for 2001: A Space Odyssey and The New World. Neither film is complete, of course. But they are both so refreshing to my soul. Thank you for Sufjan Stevens and for the Danielson Family and that they both heed your vision (to borrow from the trailer that supplies me with all the information I know about the Danielson Family). Thank you also for Frederick Buechner and for the colorful wings he has put on my perception of the Gospel. Thank you for G. K. Chesterton and the enormous, crushing joy that is your Gospel that he has revealed to me.
Thank you so much for your Gospel, which is Good News not only for the sinner but for the saved. Thank you that you Gospel is a well to which we can continually return. I thank you that you do not stand in the way; the only thing keeping me from being roaring slobbering drunk on that Living Water is me.
I thank you for my family. I thank you for the crazy, bottled up tensions and relationships that make up a family; how I'd miss that holy insanity! (I thank you also for using Brave New World to point this out to me.) Give Mom and Dad grace as they seek to serve you. Thank you for parents are willing to fling everything to the wind to chase the Wild Goose that is your Holy Spirit.
(I thank you for "Casimir Pulaski Day", which my computer, Albert is just this moment playing.)
I thank you for relationships. I thank you for the health and richness you have brought into my relationships since bringing me out of the darkness I mentioned. All of the rich friendships, the wonderful people that I can't even begin to name in this place.
Thank you for those two wonderful people who lead our college group; you used them to show me the perilous importance of thanksgiving (and for other things which you and I know).
I send a special prayer of thanks also for the relationship you've permitted me to begin with the girl that most people know here by that very long name. That the person called The Queen of Arts and England would even consent to join me on this "getting to know you" venture is cause enough for a thousand songs. Thank you.
Lastly, my dear sweet Jesus, and perhaps most importantly, I thank for my beautiful sister, Midsummer, who's birthday is tomorrow. I thank you for the summer sunshine that she is in this family and I ask that you make your own face to shine upon her on this special day.
And now I end this prayer of (mostly) thanksgiving, with a prayer that you make me fully alive, fully in communion with you. Use me to bring to life those around me. I hope there's some of you left in this post.
In Jesus' name.