The 13th century mystic, Meister Eckhart wrote,
“If the only prayer you ever say is Thank You that will suffice.”
Maybe that is why for many of us and for so many others Thanksgiving has become such an important and meaningful holiday. It is wonderfully simple and straightforward. In the midst of the craziness of life as it so often is for us – Everything from our overly full calendars to our often unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others – Thanksgiving calls us back to that most fundamental place.
Thank you…for food enough and the freedoms we enjoy.
Thank you…for family and friends and for safe places to live.
Thank you…for the gift of this day and for the day in, day out opportunities before us.
However we celebrate it, even with all of the details and all of the preparation. Thanksgiving carves out that moment for gratitude to push its way closer to the surface of our lives.
If the only prayer we ever say is Thank you that will suffice.
And, while Thanksgiving is wonderfully simple, it is or can be incredibly challenging, as well. Because, the moment we take thanksgiving seriously and allow gratitude to push its way deeper into our lives we run the risk of realizing that gratitude and thankfulness is about more than being thankful for things no matter how wonderful and how special those things are.
Because in that moment the next question is…
Are we only thankful because of what we have?
And have so much of, relative to so many others?
If that is the case, where does that leave those whom God names as our neighbors or even ourselves if we suddenly had less? Are they to be less thankful? Would we be less thankful?
Not an easy question if we dare to ask it.
While there is absolutely no question that we should be thankful for food enough and for the love and support of family and friends and for homes in which to live and for the daily grace which brushes up against our lives, gratitude, it seems to me, is or should be or could be about…
Something that stands closer to the center of who we are and how we live.
Something closer to who we are called by God to be and how we are called by God to live.
If the only prayer you ever say is Thank You that will suffice.
My prayer for you this Thanksgiving is this:
In each and every moment you have, may Thank You be your prayer.
If it is…
If you do…
It will suffice.