GIVING THANKS VS. BEING THANKFUL
I am not in favour of giving thanks to a Deity outside of myself as I once did. And I will tell you with heartfelt honesty, the reason why. If you will bear with me, you may agree with my reasoning.
I prefer to be in a state of thanksgiving ... or thankfulness for the meal before me and other wonders in my life. Rather than thank God for the meal that has been provided, I simply remain thankful that I have it. Because, in order for me to thank God for providing this meal to me and my family, I also must face the fact that it is the same God that has not provided food and drink to millions of my fellow humans across the globe.
This would put me in a state of entitlement, or favouritism in the eyes of God. It is as if God favours me and my family by providing a meal, and yet, the same God has failed to provided nourishment to starving children in impoverished countries ... even here in America. I face my meal, and understand how fortunate I am to have it when so many others do not. It would not be fair to thank God for providing me with something, and not having provided someone else with their basic needs.
The same goes for so many other situations. For example, if I were to approach a car accident, and I were to thank God for making sure I was not included and injured, then I would have to also accept that he was not there for the other people who were injured badly, or died. Instead, I remain thankful that I am not suffering the loss that my fellow humans are experiencing in that accident. A state of thankfulness.
Another example, would be illness, disease, and surgical procedures. If I were to thank God for saving my life, then what about the man next to me that just passed away during his procedure? What would I say to his family? That it is God's will, and we simply do not understand these things? No. The simple fact is that surgical teams and hospitals do all they can to save a life, and at times, it is not successful. It is not their fault, it just is. We need not look to place blame ... on Doctors, or on God.
It is my wish, and conscious desire that all suffering come to and end for all creatures. But the simple fact is that life brings blessings, and also brings disappointments. This is the undulation of the universe. Even sound waves travel up and down. All of life is filled with ups and downs. And we should spend our time enjoying the ups, without worrying about the next down.
For me, the doctors, the emergency responders, the employers, the economical system, our neighbors, friends, family, and all that we see and experience are representative of what we call God. We are the hands of the Almighty. God experiences all that physical life has to offer ... with us, through us ... and as us. We are One.
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.