An exploding turkey and a homework assignment

Sue Bender, in her book, Everyday Sacred, describes what happened when she and her husband went to a lawyer to make a will and living trust.

“What would you like to do in case there’s an exploding turkey?” the lawyer asked.

“Exploding turkey?” she asked.

“What if the whole family was together for Thanksgiving and the turkey exploded, and you were killed at that moment? Who would you want to have your worldly goods?”

She writes, “That turned out to be a terrific assignment. It was a chance to think about the people in our lives, a chance to be grateful.” She decided to create a new ritual: at the end of the day, every day, she would make “A Gratitude List.”

So, I ask, for whom or for what are we grateful? Take out a piece of paper or flip open your laptop—I’ve got an assignment for you!

Take a few minutes right now and think of the people in your life who currently are a healing, calming presence in your life—people who are inspiring to you right here, right now.

Maybe it’s someone who is always there to listen to you, someone who is constantly there for you come rain or shine, a person whose attitude is an inspiration, a friend whose insights are challenging and informative. Come up with at least five names.

Now, please do a couple of things: 

  • Record the names of these people on your piece of paper or laptop.
  • Then, think of the challenge, joy, and wholeness these people bring to your life and then express your gratitude for them.
  • That means, covenant with God to contact these folks this week and share your thoughts—a note, a call or in person. 

Gratitude isn’t something reserved for just the Thanksgiving turkey, it is a daily exercise. Make every day sacred. 

Shalom, Paul