Priscilla's World | Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Advent
Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Advent

After a long Thanksgiving weekend with family, friends and food, I can’t help but think about all that makes me thankful. My gratitude overflows.

And then a friend posted Marcus Borg’s thoughts on that subject. Since I can’t say it as well as he does…I have a feeling he wouldn’t mind my quoting him here.

“Gratitude is the realization that life, all of life, our lives, are a gift. Indeed, the words “gratitude” and “grace” have the same root. None of us created ourselves. None of us is self-made. 

If our lives have turned out well, how much of that is the product of our own individual achievement? And how much is the product of the genes with which we were born that gave us a level of physical vitality, intelligence, health and longevity? How much is the product of the family we were born into, with its values and economic level? How much is the product of the country and time in which we were born?

As both a feeling and an awareness, gratitude is a virtue with ethical consequences. When we feel most grateful, it is impossible to be cruel or callous, brutal or indifferent.  But grateful people, whether religious or secular, understand that our lives, and all that is, are a gift.”                         Marcus Borg

Time with family this weekend was a gift…whether walking the three dogs around a familiar neighborhood or lounging in front of the fireplace. I could forget that some folks don’t have that privilege. But I try to remember that it is a privilege.

Nora – home from college, Warren – sharing school plans, Clea at fourteen months entertaining us all playing with the dogs – and adults in the kitchen preparing wondrous smells urging us to be ready to feast.

Saturday I almost decided not to join the excursion to the aquarium at Crown Center. What a mistake that would have been. Kansas City SeaLife is a delight and watching Clea’s fascination with all the fish moving so gracefully through the water captured all our hearts.


Now we have entered the time of Advent…a time of preparation, prophesy and promise. My goal is to focus on the delight and joy of this month…and to ignore the blaring TV ads to buy, buy, buy. One thought counters that for me … this is a time of compassion not consumption.