In Another Life, A Past Life

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Its that time of year again. It is the time when we plan to get together, eat lots of home-cooked turkey, watch our Detroit Lions take the field, laugh over old times and prepare for the biggest shopping day of the coming season. Thanksgiving 2012 has arrived. As part of my celebration of this day planned with family, I want to share a few reasons for my thankful heart today. I think we’re all used to hearing the generic list of reasons to be thankful, so be with me as I try to dig a little deeper than most.

– Today, I’m thankful for Todd Smith: a murder-one inmate scheduled to die by lethal injection, in some maximum security prison, somewhere in this great nation of ours. Because of his past deeds, I know what real evil looks like. Because of his past deeds, I cherish the freedoms and the self restraint God bestowed upon me. I’m thankful, because in another life, a past life, I could have very well been Todd Smith, if given the chance to set my rage free, in the heat of a given moment. I’m thankful that, unlike Todd, I have another chance to be with my family and to celebrate this holiday.

– Today, I’m thankful for Sally Jones: a young free-spirited woman somewhere in Anytown, USA who just a few days ago, completed her fifth abortion, terminating yet another unborn child of God. This will be just another day in her life whereas half way around the world, Toshi Nasaki and her husband Takashi have been praying diligently for God to bless them with a single child, for years. Because of Sally, I know what disdain for human life looks like. Because of her, I kiss each of my five children on the forehead while they sleep at night. Sally makes me realize the gift of real parenthood. Sure the young buggers get on my nerves sometimes, but that’s the point, isn’t it. They teach us to be better…for them. In another life, a past life, I could have been the man in Sally’s life; the man edging her to abort the unplanned fetus, every time. I’m thankful that, unlike Sally, I have children to share this letter with. And I pray for decent couples like the Nasakis, who genuinely want to parent, but have yet to be blessed.

– Today, I’m thankful for Kevin James: He’s a high powered executive living in mid-town Manhattan, New York. My man Kevin’s got the power to purchase just about anything money can buy. He doesn’t worry over a heating/electric bill. His water bill is usually paid well in advance. Kevin doesn’t have a car note, because his cars a pre-ordered and paid for in full. Today, Kevin will take a jog through Central Park and ignore every Salvation Army bell-ringer and every homeless person within view, despite the fact that he always carries three crisp one hundred-dollar bills on his person, just in case of an emergency. Kevin thinks Bible-thumpers are pathetic. He’s got no time to believe in anyone’s god. His mantra is, “If you want it, go get it yourself. Save the prayers for losers”. Today, I’m thankful for Kevin, because he shows me the face of true greed and narcissism. In another life, a past life, I could have been Kevin, had God not intervened and completely destroyed my perceptions of success versus failure. This afternoon, in my father’s house, I’ll say a prayer over the beautifully and painstakingly prepared food. On behalf of my whole family, I’ll thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for blessing us with this day, and with the truth of dependence on Him, to fulfill our needs.

– Today, I’m thankful for Dick Baker: a recent Chicago divorcee, who left his wife of fifteen years, to be with a mistress, half his age. Dick’s wife began experiencing pre-menopausal symptoms a few years ago, testing the very foundations of their marriage. Instead of supporting Jane during this difficult and often confusing time, Dick fell victim to the temptations of a young intern at the firm. Subtly and gradually, he allowed the flesh to convince him that he could do a lot better than Jane. He didn’t need to put up with her constant nagging, mood swings and lack of intimacy any longer. Today, Dick and his young lady-friend will eat an over-cooked roast duck at her college roommate’s home, surrounded by a group of Generation-Y kids, who will eventually engage him in mundane chatter of the latest iPhone, Xbox-360 game, or Channing Tatum’s nomination as the sexiest man alive in America. He can’t take her to his family’s cabin; no one approves of his decision. Jane may have been a handful for his siblings and parents to deal with, but she was always trustworthy and polite to his family. I’m thankful for Dick. Because of him, I know what the face of lust and double-minded intentions actually look like. In another life, a past life, I could have been him. Sometimes my marriage is a trial by fire, but my wife is a gift that I plan to cherish until the end of my days. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but I will never leave her side; come hell or high water. I’m thankful to be able to eat dinner with my best friend at my side today.

My freedom, my children, my faith, and my wife. These are the principles that I appreciate this year. Sure, I’m thankful for the car, the house, the day off, the television sets, the computers; all the junk. But that stuff is purely superficial. Today, I’m truly thankful for what God has blessed me with, and the direction He is guiding my life toward. My hope is this: after reading this letter, I hope you take a moment to seriously ponder what you’re reallythankful for today.

 
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