At my church, we have a "Thanksgiving Eve" service each year. It's usually a fairly intimate affair, a time for our church body to gather and reflect on the goodness of our God, and collectively give thanks.
We are currently without a pastor, so last night one of our elders shared a Thanksgiving reflection. She began with an object lesson for the children (which, of course, is also an important lesson for us grown-ups as well.)
She took a donut out of a paper bag and held it up for all the kids to see (both the littler ones up on stage, and us bigger ones still in the seats.) I was hungry--hadn't had supper yet--and it looked delicious to me. Who wouldn't be thankful to be given a donut when they are hungry?
But there is something missing with a donut: there is a hole cut out of the center. Not that it matters, of course; that's part of the joy of the donut. We expect donuts to have a hole in the middle. Honestly, it's odd for a donut to not have a hole in it. Hardly seems like a donut then, right?
We don't focus on the hole when we are enjoying a donut.
And so, she taught the kids--and all the rest of us too--a rhyme about donuts:
As you travel through life, let this be your goal:
Keep your eye on the donut, and not on the hole.
A simple lesson, perfect for the kids. (Perfect for the grown-ups too.)
How often, in light of good gifts in hand do we focus on what is "missing"--the hole in our donut? Are you thankful for what you do have? Or do you focus on what you don't have?
I think that from here on out, every time I see a donut, I'm going to be reminded to pause and give thanks.
|Image by Giovanni Tancredi [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]|