I thought that perhaps, since I went out of season with my last column on Christmas, I should again go out of season with a column about thanksgiving. Yes, it's Black Friday, and technically yes, we're now in the "Christmas season", but I was too busy thanksgiving day to talk about things I'm thankful for (oh the irony), so I'm going to do it now.
First and formost, I'm thankful for my faith. God has seen fit to show me a few good things in my life to lead me to Him, and apparently I was at least smart enough to take the hint. I'm thankful that He is my shepherd, my king, my father, my commanding officer, and my friend. And I am thankful for the grace He bestows upon me with His mercy, though I do not deserve it.
I'm thankful for my new wife. She's been a huge blessing in my life for a year and a few months, and yet it feels like I've known her forever. Truly, she is my best friend and confindant, the love of my life, and my partner in crime.
I'm thankful that I am a citizen of not one, but two countries where I am free to exercise my faith without any persecution from the law. This does not mean I am not persecuted, but I am free to believe as I will, no strings attached. Here's to the United States of America, and the Swiss Confederation!
I am thankful for my family. For my parents and sister especially (and I already mentioned my wife, but she gets to go in here twice), but also for my grandparents on both sides (that I can even know them all, since many my age never know their grandparents), my uncles and aunts and cousins. For my inlaws (something I never thought one could be thankful for, but my wife has a cool family).
I'm thankful for my church family. This is as small as my close friends whom I see every week, but also extends to the body of Christ I worship the Lord with on a regular basis (at Crosswinds), and then to the greater body in the world - the one Church. I don't know who they all are by name and face, but nonetheless I am thankful that they continue to make this world a better place in the name of Jesus.
I am thankful for my friends. There are too many to list right away, but especially for Mike, Rob, Sue, Eric, and the many others that support me through thick and thin, I am thankful. They have been there in my darkest hours (and cried with me) and have been with me through my most triumphant moments.
I am thankful for politics. Now, those of you who know me are probably taken aback by such a statement, since you know how I hate the political game. But I have learned a great deal about life from politics. From the republicans I learned that there are others who share my own views, even if very few of them are at my school. From the democrats I learned to value the freedoms I have, lest they take them away from me. And from the independents I learned to keep plugging away, even if I feel like it's hopeless (ruthless optimism really is a good thing).
Lastly, I'm thankful for life. I have a great life! I do not deserve the life I got, nor do I deserve all the people in it, the opportunities I've had, or the chance I have to serve.
God bless you All.