Archive for the 'Thanksgiving' Category

It’s Full of Stars!

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Today’s scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

One of the things I love about being in the Midwest is it’s pretty easy to get out of town and sit under a clear night sky, with no city lights, and really see the stars.

I remember when I was a girl at Catholic summer camp, the camp leader, Father Tank, would have us sit looking up at the night sky after chapel, staring at a dark area where “there were no stars” and wait. An amazing thing always happened — suddenly, in this dark area in the sky, star after star would seem to “pop out” to join its brighter neighbors, and you’d hear gasps of delight and amazement from everyone as they kept trying to find that one spot where no stars existed. Of course it never happened. There were always those “tweener” stars, sparkling in between the bright ones.

You know, it’s the same way with us and the blessings we receive. There are some pretty bright stars out there to be grateful for — good health, shelter, a home, an adorable toy poodle named Abby (ok, that’s one of my specific bright stars) — but what about the spots in our lives where we’re just SURE there’s no blessing to be found?

Look at that person at work who most frustrates you — perhaps that’s a dark spot between the blessings of kissing your spouse goodbye when you leave for work in the morning and reading your child a bedtime story at the end of the day. But look closely — keep looking — there’s a tweener in there, I promise.

You might spot a twinkle when you realize that through your example of kindness to this person, no matter what, and praying for her as we were taught to pray for our enemies, you’re teaching your children a profound lesson they’ll take into adulthood. You might see a glimmer when you draw his name for Secret Santa this season, and in learning about him to give a gift he’ll appreciate, you find you have a lot of interests in common and end up bridging a relationship. You might see a bright twinkle when you find out that because of the diplomatic way you handle this difficult person on a day-to-day basis, your manager has noticed and rewards you with that top project you’ve been wanting to tackle as part of your career development.

As today’s reading says, in all things, be grateful. In every spot of your life, the blessings number greater than the stars, even when at first it looks like that dark spot we kids kept hunting for in the night sky where “nothing” existed.

Those “tweener” blessings exist. Start finding them by picking out a big, obvious blessing or two from the day, and then sit for a moment and look at that dark spot in between, and I guarantee if you’re patient, you’ll be delighted by the realization that there is a twinkle of a blessing in there, too.

Image of the day from space.com

Thought for the day: Where are the “dark spots” in my sky? Have I ever tried to see a blessing there?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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