Thanksgiving came early for me this year. Last Friday, my brother was driving through southern Utah for work when he hydroplaned and couldn’t recover. The truck flipped off the road, but he and the other passenger crawled out and walked away without a scratch.
I feel immensely grateful that he and his friend were spared serious injury or worse. Other than having to replace a vehicle, there will likely be no ongoing effects from the accident. The thought occurred to me soon after hearing about what had happened that it is easy to be thankful when a tragedy is narrowly avoided, but I don’t always appreciate the countless ways that things go right throughout my life. There are so many things that could be worse, or could go wrong, to which I don’t give a second thought.
I wonder how our perspective would change if we kept the countless small blessings in mind as we went through our daily lives? It might help us hold a more balanced view of life when tragedy is not avoided and things do go horribly wrong. My brother’s accident could have easily gone the other way. I hope that I would not become bitter or resentful towards life or God if it had.
During a Civil War when countless men where killed in bloody conflict Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens…”. We could do worse to avoid becoming hardened and angry than holding an attitude of thankfulness in good times as well as bad.