Monday, November 16, 2009

Early Thanksgiving Homily

{{Potd/2005-11-24 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

Today MindSieve features a guest writer*; a very special young woman, age 14 who wrote and delivered this homily in her church on Sunday. Enjoy!

"Waking up at 6:30 for school is not always pleasant nor is it easy but then the hard part really begins. I stand in front of my dresser wondering what I want to wear, what I should wear, and slowly the minutes tick by making me even more rushed then I was before. I could have picked out anything easily and that task would be finished…but what matches, and what’s the temperature outside? With the constant pull of fashion magazines, and what’s in and out, the pressure for people to buy things, whether necessary or frivolous, is unending. I am pretty sure when we all look in the mirror, we are not thinking whether or not God would like the way we did our hair that morning, and he probably doesn’t care if that shirt matches those pants. Matthew says in the Gospel this morning, “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Birds are fed, plants get their needed sunlight, and bugs still buzz whether or not our outfits match. And more importantly, God will still love us and protect us.

Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the lives we live, as we are driven by our constant worries. As a freshman in high school, a day of school is never finished without the regular reminders of homework, tests, quizzes, project deadlines, and other due dates. The amount of work may not compare to a college student’s, but staying up until eleven just to finish the necessary work for the next day is exhausting. Not only is it exhausting, but also it is distracting. One cannot fully appreciate the life they are given when they are constantly complaining about the workload. Every day I hear my peers say, “I hate my life, or, this is a boring town”. However, when we compare our lives to those around us, or those abroad, can no one realize or see how good our lives truly are? It is more important to look beyond the clothing… beyond our list of things to get done… beyond our individual struggles… and find out what truly matters. When thousands of people are starving and running around barely clothed, are our day to day worries all that bad? When people are worried if they are going to live another day due to the Genocide in Darfur, should we really hate our lives? It is important that on this Sunday, and as we approach Thanksgiving to remember what is really important, and what we should, in actuality, spend our money and time on. This does not mean that there are times when we do not have real worries, real sorrow; and it does not mean that we shouldn’t want nice things for ourselves, or be frustrated with our lives every once in a while. We are human and we are all God’s children. If we were all perfect, there would be no need for a god to guide us.

All through my elementary school life I remember making paper turkeys by tracing my hand and then writing what I was thankful for. Of course this included the more conventional things such as: “I’m thankful for my friends… or family… or my dogs… and every now and then you would hear a kid say, “I’m thankful for my GameCube.”

However, as I’ve grown up I have realized that there are many more things that we, as young children, were shielded and protected from. And as I grow, I find that I have a better grasp on what I am truly thankful for, what family truly is, and what friends truly are. Everyone has their own definition of family, but mine would be - A group of people who love you no matter what you may do. And my definition for friends is - people who will stand by your side no matter what. Now…. nobody on those little paper turkeys ever puts church as something they are thankful for. Maybe they take it for granted, or maybe we, as young children, have just spent the whole church service asking our mom or dad when will this be over?! As an acolyte I have been able to experience church fully, and by doing this I have experienced an entire new meaning of family, friends, and church. When we are down, we need somebody; when we are sick, sad or depressed, we need somebody. And because of this church environment, we have somebody.

In this time of thanksgiving, it is important to remember what thanksgiving really means, which is: the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits, or favors, esp. to God. This Thanksgiving, truly appreciate the lives you are given, the family and friends that surround you, the community of church that you are in, and God, who gave his life for you.

This year if I were back in elementary school and had the opportunity to make a little thanksgiving turkey, I would be sure to include my church, and our God who made all of this possible. Amen

*Writer is the eldest granddaughter of Sunrise Sister

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  1. I'm thinking you're pretty proud of the author of such wisdom!

  2. wow! wow! wow! so proud to include her in my list of "giggling girls"... what an amazing young woman. i am absolutely blown away. WOW! xoxoxo

  3. That's our granddaughter!!!

  4. One occasion when nepotism is entirely justified! Good for her, this is absolutely great.

    I think there are a lot of (oh heaven help me, I want to use the word "youngster" which makes me sound 100!) younger people around who are really thoughtful and not afraid to speak out. It gives me hope.

  5. Thank you for sharing your granddaughter's beautiful written message for Thanksgiving. Her sensitivity and empathy and understanding are gifts that will take her far in life.

  6. Jennifer - oh yeah, she is an amazing young woman!:)

    Lucy - knew you would love this - a budding writer or priest....I think the passion is med school right ow.

    Country Parson - I know:)

    Tess - Young(sters) of today truly are way ahead of where we ever were in our teen years. They are SO the hope of the future for our world's population and our planet!

    Maureen - thank you so much for commenting on Addie's homily. I'll be letting her know what gifted writers have commented about her work:)!

    Thanks everyone!

  7. This is wonderful! It's a reminder for me of two very central truths in my life: 1) How much better it is to be grateful for having "more" than feeling guilty about it, and 2) how truly blessed I am to have a church family. Sometimes I take that for granted these days, even though when I first joined a church a decade ago, I was overwhelmed with a sense of belonging and acceptance for the first time in my life.

    And this comes at a perfect time for me, when I'm about to officially join the church I've been attending since I moved here a year ago. I've been reluctant to join because of nitpicky things, but your granddaughter's homily puts it in the right perspective for me.

    Tell her thank you for me!

  8. Anonymous3:39 PM

    And what a gift for her that a community of strong women and writers have taken the time to recognize her work by writing and reflecting. Thank you, thank you!

  9. I agree with all the others that the author is truly an outstanding young woman. It's encouraging to know that we'll be leaving this world in the charge of such as she.

  10. Pollinatrix - How true it is to be grateful for "having more" rather than just feeling guilty about the whole thing.

    A church family means a great deal to me. We all have our differences, faults, character traits - all the personalities available - they're all in a church family but gathering in worship and fellowship means a great deal to me, even if and when I'm with those persons that I wouldn't choose to spend a lot of free time with! I love the support and am so happy to hear that you will be joining your own personal church soon. Thanks for such a lovely reply to Addie's homily!


  11. Anonymous and MS - your comments are so very welcome today. As you can imagine, our heart sings with the depth of this granddaughter's thoughts and actions.

  12. I know that it doesn't need to be said again, but I am in awe of the wisdom of this young woman and her insights. I hope I'm as wise as her when I grow up! Love....

  13. Rebecca - Thank you for your comment. Addie is a surprising young woman, full of life, and wisdom - already. I said to you the other day that "our" kids are exposed to so much more than we ever were as children. They process it differently than we do as adults but sometimes they process it so amazingly for their age we are truly awed!