Thanksgiving is Past; the Need for Thanking is Not!
What a Raven Taught Me about Enjoying Vacation
Last June we went to Utah to see the sights – massive arches, gaping canyons, stunning vistas and outsized beauty. As we returned to our car after viewing yet another gorgeous cleft in the land, a raven hopped up to beg food from us, and then hung around for conversation.
Mr. Raven was endlessly entertaining, preening and strutting and croaking. We swapped stories for quite some time there outside our rental car – longer, I would say, than we had peered into the stunning canyon we’d driven so many miles to see. But having fun on vacation is like that. Sometimes you receive more joy from the unexpected gifts than from anticipated ones.
In his commentary on Ecclesiastes, Eugene Peterson summarizes that ancient book with these words:
You must not pursue pleasure. … God has filled the world with all manner of delight. To enjoy it we need the light touch of one who accepts a gift. ... It is possible to accept all the gifts of life and enjoy them completely only if we refuse to make gods out of them. No pleasure, however delightful, provides a reason for living or a goal for growing.
Well, how about that as a personal life principle? … to live with the light touch of one who receives a gift. Can you see how that would gentle us, humble us, make us alert, generous and joyful?
That’s how I want to be, not just at Thanksgiving or Christmas, but day in and day out, all year long. Say, we could even start a movement with that!
Oh wait, I forgot: Jesus anchored that movement with his life all those years ago. If we’ve fallen out of step, it’s high time we rejoin his Way. Pray that I succeed. And I shall pray for you as well.
Happy “light touch!”
Congregational Care Pastor
Reverend Dean Ziegler
Reverend Dean Ziegler is our Pastor of Congregational Care. Dean is a recently retired elder in WPAUMC & a retired District Supervisor in the Butler District. Dean is part of the Robert E. Harper Men’s Chorus; loves participating in the CUMC music program & has a passion for photography & macadamia nut cookies! He and his wife, Linda, live in Cranberry Township.