This Time of Year, when turkeys begin to go on sale, the pumpkin pie is baking in the oven and the house smells of pumpkin spice lattes. It’s the time of year where we all begin to ask ourselves just what we are thankful for. Well…I believe I just may have a new take on that thought. I am thankful for a lot of things, and why shouldn’t I be? I have a ton. My room is full of stuff. Stuff I just wouldn’t be able to give away cause of the “value” and “memories” that comes along with it, when really all it is another “thing”
I had the opportunity to see another world this past May. Another world where they didn’t have much. You couldn’t shower every day there and you brushed your teeth using stored jugs of water. Where sometimes the dishes piled up for days before you could wash them just so you had enough water to wash them. Dishes that have had to sit in a hot room for a few days do not smell the greatest after a while.
Money is always a problem, we just never seem to have enough. On my trip it was the exact same thing, although in these cases, they really didn’t have enough, when we just think we don’t have enough, there are people out there who DON’T have any at all.
On my trip I had the opportunity to play with some very special children. Children who had lost their Mommy and Daddy. Some of these children had been found in horrible conditions. Everything from bushes to dumpsters, some just wandering around, lost. All twenty or so of these children had found there way to this home, the home of a very compassionate lady. This women who had dedicated herself to raising these children to know God and to know love. They didn’t have everything but I could tell they really felt safe there. I had the opportunity to teach some of the older ones, through a kindergarten class. They were learning there letters. It is very interesting to teach a group of children with limited resources. I not only taught this kindergarten class but I had the opportunity to teach Sunday school as well. Those children were some of the most behaved in the class. They didn’t have all the fancy equipment and supplies I am use to teaching with. The supplies were actually pretty limited. Yet they were still there to learn; they were there to understand; They were there to build relationship and to have fun.
So what am I thankful for this thanksgiving? Well On this past trip if there is one thing I learned most of all it is this…the importance of strong community and strong relationships. That is what these people had. They may not of had much but one thing they valued was each other. They seemed to always be together. The home I stayed at seemed to always have someone over visiting. Their door was always opened. They didn’t seem to mind that they had no “alone time” like we do here. They were never in a rush to be somewhere or to do something. But one thing they always made sure they had time for was for their friends and their family. They know they importance of community, and that is One thing, I believe, we could learn from here in North America. You know sometimes I think that the people here believe they have it the “best”. They have all their resources at their finger tips, they have everything they could possibly need to survive. I am starting to disagree, though. I don’t think we have things right here. Some things I believe we have very wrong. We take too much for granted and other things we don’t take for granted enough. It’s not us who have thing together, it’s the folks living down in Jamaica, or Sough America, or Africa. They have their priorities straight, they know what’s important.
That’s why this thanksgiving the thing I am most thankful for is the people in my life. For the slow moments like this where i can sit back and relax, where I don’t have to be anywhere or do anything. I am most thankful for the times when all I have to worry about is whether I am having a good time with my friends and family. That’s what’s most important. Cause when hard times come by, it’s not going to be the money you have, or the things you own, or your busy schedule that helps you out of the hole…it’s going to be the people you know and love that are going to come and stand around you and lift you up our of the hole. And if you were too busy doing “stuff” to build relationships…when all that stuff comes crashing down on you, there’s going to be no one to come and help dig you out.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!