After the flood all the colors come out.
It was a beautiful day. Don't let it get away.
- U2 (Beautiful Day)
I love Thanksgiving. Regardless of the historical origins, I love that there is a nationally-observed holiday devoted to gratitude. A time of year dedicated to giving thanks for the blessings in our lives...no matter how big or small.
But why stop there?
To have a true attitude of gratitude, we should also take the time to reflect on the "bad" things in our life. And be thankful for them as well.
I put quotations around the word bad because it's a relative term. How many times in your life has something that originally seemed like a curse turn into the ever-popular blessing in disguise?
There's an old Chinese tale about a man who lost his horse. Neighbors offered their sympathy, but he calmly said, "Maybe it's a blessing." And, sure enough, his horse later returned with a second horse. His neighbors congratulated him on his good luck, but he simply replied, "Maybe it's not a blessing."
Later, the man's son fell off the new horse and severely broke his leg. Again, the man's neighbors offered their condolences, but the man shrugged and replied, "Maybe it's a blessing." Soon after, China went to war and all able-bodied young men were ordered into a battle that meant certain death to all. However, because the man's son had a broken leg, he was excused from service and went on to live a long, prosperous life.
While you count your many blessings this Thanksgiving season, take a moment to consider a past misfortune in your life and think of a good thing that resulted because of it. You don't have to go so far as to be thankful for the misfortune (although you certainly could). But be thankful for something it brought you.
Unmask your blessings in disguise... and be truly thankful.
Can you step back from your own mind
And thus understand all things? (v. 10)