If we let Thanksgiving Day call us to true feelings of gratitude for our life and what we have now; if we take a moment at the beginning of the Day to feel the happiness within our grateful heart; and if we take time throughout the Day to quiet our mind and feel a sense of peace and well-being beneath the festivities, we’ll find a deeper meaning for the word “Thanksgiving,” and become aware that there is far more to us and those around us than we all appear to be. Emerson wrote, “What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Sometimes the frantic energy around a Thanksgiving gathering can make us feel a bit crazy—getting the decorations up, getting the food ready on time, and showing up on time. It’s easy to forget what the Day is about. But crazy isn’t a new energy in this world. In fact, if we watch or read about what appears to be happening in our country and the world today, it would seem that this world passed crazy long ago and is venturing beyond the border of insanity. We read in A Course in Miracles, “Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts, sights and sounds of this insane world.” There are seldom any new reports of peace and well-being, no breaking news about how well things went that day. It’s easy to forget what this Life is about. That’s why it’s up to you and me to let our life be the good news we want to hear and see, not just Thanksgiving Day but every day.
It’s up to us to choose to be the presence of peace and well-being wherever we are, whatever we’re doing. No matter what is going on around us, our unwavering vibration of peace can change the energy, not only in a room, but in the world. When we’re aware that there is more to all of us, and for all us, and we feel the consistent certainty of that Truth, the more abundant good we will experience in our life, and the see more abundance of good we’ll see it appearing in the world around us. If we let an official day of giving thanks cause us to sink into the peace that awaits our grateful heart, we’ll stay sane far beyond Thanksgiving Day. A grateful heart is a happy heart. When we live each day as if it were Thanksgiving Day, our feelings of gratitude draw thoughts of appreciation to our mind. Vibrations of happiness are all around us just waiting to become our thought!
The Bible is filled with metaphors and poetry, and the Book of Psalms offers them beautifully. The 23rd Psalm begins “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” When we talk on Sundays about the “wanted and unwanted” in our life, it’s not to imply that we’re ever lacking anything. It’s to imply that we’re not allowing what is already spiritually ours to manifest in our physical experience. Every good thing we could ever ask for is already within us—answered before we ask, given before we need, fulfilled before we want. We read in A Course in Miracles, “What is the Will of God? He wills His Son have everything, and this He guaranteed when He created him as everything. It is impossible that anything be lost, if what you have is what you are.”
As we like to say, “We are not a drop in the ocean, we are the ocean in a drop.” And in the same way, we are not a self in a Universe separate from us, we are the whole Universe as our Self within it. Just as the ocean has no separate drops, no drops that are not made of what the entire ocean is made of, so it is that whatever God is we must be also because God is all there is—the whole Universe and all the multi-verses, and everything that exists within them. we read in the Lamsa Bible, “Everything came to be by his hand; and without him not even one thing came to be of what was created.” All that exists was made by God, If we “is,” and we are, we are Divinely made. If that doesn’t seem true to us, about us or anyone else, it’s because we’re focusing on changeable appearances, rather than the Unchanging Power behind them. We’re focusing on the insanity of the world, rather than the Eternal Peace, Love and Joy that has caused All-That-Is to be.
In the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, one of the stanza’s of the 23rd Psalm reads, “You have prepared tables in front of me opposite my enemies; you have anointed my head with oil and my cup overflows as if it were alive.” As infinite expressions of an Infinite Source, we’re not offered just one table, but multiple tables, like a Universal all-you-can-eat buffet. Everything we could ever desire to express or experience is already prepared for us. It’s all on the tables, an unlimited buffet from which we get to choose anything we want. And, that’s why we came into this world—not to get stuff because everything is already ours. We came to become aware of our Power as a Being of God to create by consciously choosing from all the contrast in the world a life we enjoy living.
We live in a world of duality for a reason. Without it there would be no individual awareness or experience of our self as a Master creator. If we never had an opportunity to choose between this or that, we wouldn’t know we could choose. We live in a world of countless pairs of opposites, not opposing powers, but as two ends of the same stick. Both ends are always on the table because it’s just one stick offering us the opportunity to choose which end of the stick we want to focus on. Our chosen focus is important because it is our focus that causes our experience of Life. It should be a simple choice if we want to live a life of Joy.
We read in A Course in Miracles, “This is the miracle by which creation became your function, sharing it with God.” But rather than focusing on what we want, somewhere along the line (it doesn’t matter where), we started to believe we had no choice. We began to eat the same thing over and over again even if we didn’t like it or we were bored with it. Or be started eating everything, even if it made us sick. We started fighting with each other over scraps as if there wasn’t enough to go around on the tables our Source had set before us. And, we started complaining about things that were on the tables we didn’t like even though others seemed to like them.
When we focus on lack in the world, on conflict in the world, and on what others are choosing in the world, we help to perpetuate it because what we focus on becomes our experience of Life. We pinch our self off from experiencing all the goodies on all the tables before us for which we are free to choose. In the stage play, Auntie Mame, the lead character says, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” When we don’t look in the direction of our good, we can’t see it so we believe it isn’t there. We keep asking for it, but not looking for it within where it’s already prepared.
But as eternal creators of our individual experiences of Life, we get to choose differently anytime we decide to. If we’re still hungry for Joy we can feed it gratitude that will fill us up. If we’re a little “queasy” because what we’ve chosen so far hasn’t sat well with us, we can choose again. And, even if we don’t immediately see our good in physical form before us, if we trust it’s there just same and feel happy about that, our gratitude will open our eyes to the abundant good that from the beginning was prepared for us.