Thursday, November 26, 2009

A grateful heart 

Many of you will know the song "Give Thanks" from a more modern Christian service, which first instructs us to give thanks with a grateful heart. What does that mean to you this day?

I walk upstairs from my office, and on the couch I see Littlest asleep. Buttercup is on the couch at her feet; Sparkler occupies the dog bed meant for BC. "Littlest" is now a joke, as she's about to be the tallest of the Banaians. When asked what she did yesterday she reported "a good run and a chapter of algebra 2." She considers that a good day. I am grateful for the gift she is, and for the love of my marriage that she represents.

I'm grateful for the career I have. I have great colleagues in my department, a wonderful staff, and a university that has long been supportive of me professionally even when they dislike my politics. I don't think I was so grateful when I started this blog seven years ago as I am now. If that's just aging, it has been worth the tradeoff of now needing to stretch 20 minutes before going to bed just so I can get out of it again. (I'm grateful as well for the advice health professionals gave me to make that so much better.)

I am grateful for the last twelve months of the activities in Washington. Never before in my adult life have people asked such basic questions about how the economy is organized. What I do professionally is more relevant to more people than ever. We have thanks for the harvest, and the economy that brings it. It keeps listeners for my radio programs and students for my classrooms and readers for my writings. I'm both humbled and grateful for the interest.

Dennis Prager tweeted a few moments ago, "Given the great amount of unjust suffering and unhappiness in the world, I am deeply grateful for how much misery I have been spared." This and the promise of the Gospel is, above all else, what we give thanks for today.