Page 329 was Thanksgiving Day which meant a day off of work to spend with family as we gathered with a spirit of thankfulness for all that God has given. The day began with the ability to sleep in and catch up on some rest, which was one reason to be thankful right from the start. By mid-morning I began the process of heating up the pork I cooked yesterday so that it would be both hot and juicy by the time we ate lunch. The cooking of it ended up taking a little over 13 hours which left it incredibly tender and juicy, so I didn’t want to jeopardize the quality by rushing the reheating process.
As the compliments on the pulled pork arrived throughout the day, I thought about how often we put a lot of work into something only to have impatience take over and keep the result from being the best that it could have been. We get tired and rather than persevere, we take the first shortcut that we can find. How often does our Christian witness suffer for that very reason? We take great care and put much effort into knowing how God would have us live according to His Word, only to walk down an unguarded path because it looks like it will save us time in accomplishing what we desire. I have often heard an old saying from a variety of settings, “If it’s worth doing, it is worth doing right.” I might add that it is also worth taking whatever time is necessary to do it right. Paul writes about buffeting his body daily and holding fast to the word of life so that he doesn’t run the race in vain. He understood the importance of not only running the race well, but of finishing the race well also.
The rest of the day was spent with family and lots of food. As I sat down to write today’s page, I thought about the day and what photo I would include on the page. I ended up choosing a photo I took last week of a natural bridge near Slade, Kentucky. While I enjoy taking pictures of covered bridges, as nice as some of them are, they don’t come close to the magnificence of the handiwork of God. But I didn’t choose the photo for today’s page because of its beauty. I chose it because of the symbolism of a bridge as it takes us from one place to another. As I reflect on the day, I am thankful to be a part of families which serve as a bridge of thanksgiving. The family I was born into and the family I married into both serve as a bridge which carries me into an attitude of thankfulness. I know that not everyone has a family that has been that bridge for them, but I believe that each of us can decide to be that bridge for our children, our family, and the people around us. Our decision to be thankful, or not, has a tremendous influence on the level of thankfulness in the people who surround us on a daily basis. Attitudes can be very contagious and the strength of our attitude will often determine whether others catch ours or we catch theirs.
I pray that you and I would learn to live with the patience required to do things right. I pray that we would not give in to the temptations to take shortcuts that would diminish our witness for Christ. I pray that we would live in such a way that our life would not be lived in vain. I pray that we would have people in our life that have been a bridge for us into an attitude of thanksgiving. I pray that we would be a bridge for others so they could make their way from an ungrateful attitude into one of thankfulness.