An exploding turkey

Sue Bender, in her book, Everyday Sacred, describes how she began to develop an attitude of gratitude. It had, she says, something to do with an exploding turkey!

She writes: “Last month my husband Richard and I decided, at age 60 and 63, it was finally time to be grown-up and responsible. Neither of us is practical about business nor financial matters. We went to a lawyer and started the process of making a will and a living trust for our sons.” “What would you like to do in case there’s an ‘exploding turkey?” the lawyer asked. “Exploding turkey?” I asked.

“What if the whole family was together at Thanksgiving and the turkey exploded?” he asked. “If the four of you were killed at that moment, who would you want to have your worldly goods?”

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 and express our gratitude. I decided to create a new ritual. I would stop at the end of the day, even a particularly difficult day, and make a list: “A Gratitude List.”

Reading about that made me think: For whom or for what are we grateful? I invite you to get a piece of paper and something with which to write. I’ve got an assignment for you!

Your assignment: Take a few minutes right now and think of the people in your life who have been a healing presence in your life. Maybe it was a parent, a spouse, a friend, a teacher, or mentor. It could be a neighbor, a child, or your best friend.

Now, please do a couple of things: 1) Write the names of these people on your piece of paper. 2) Then, think of the role these people brought in bringing love and wholeness to your life and express your gratitude for them. 3) Finally, if these people are still alive, make a covenant with God to contact these folks and share your thoughts. If they are already deceased, hold them
close in your heart.

Give thanks for all of the blessings in your life, even strange assignments like this one!

Shalom, Paul