We have had a paper route for the past three and a half years. My wife and I along with our younger sons share in this responsibility. It has been a good teaching tool for our children. It has provided a little extra income and a daily dose of exercise. Besides that, it has offered a chance to see the stars and moon at their brightest during the darkest time of night, the sun rising above the horizon and hear the first sounds of morning. There is a farm behind us and we often hear the Rooster greet the morn. There are Woodpeckers in the trees searching for their breakfast and the songs of numerous other birds that fill the air.
Some mornings we spot deer grazing near the woods, or in a neighbors yard. There are skunks that we have detected more often than seen, and even Hawks, Eagles and Crows circling above looking for their next meal.
We have been blessed with good weather most mornings. Even when it has poured during the night, it has most often stopped by the time we hit the road. We walk about two miles each morning I estimate, I need to purchase a Pedometer someday. But as I said, we have been blessed we nice to decent weather for most of the mornings the past three and a half years.
Last night it poured. The rain on our roof roared, we have Cathedral ceilings on our second floor and it amplifies the sound. By 5:00 a.m. it was only a light drizzle and the temperature was in the forties. Not too bad really considering how hard it had rained the night before. The kids were all asleep when we came downstairs to bag the papers for delivery, we decided to let them sleep in for a bit and do the route ourselves, my wife taking half the route and me the other. Walking through the dark morning alone gives me time to think and pray, something else I like about it.
After I got home I changed out my clothes into my usual lounging around the house outfit, a T-shirt and sweat pants. I stretched out on the bed to relax for a bit. I have a routine where I like to read the Bible after I return from doing the route, but today I decided I would do that later as I wanted to spend time with my son before he left for school. He was just stirring so I had a few minutes to kill. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I began to think about all the things I have to be thankful for. A warm dry house, the storm last night was pretty bad, a dry basement, we didn’t get flooded, Thank You God! I thought about our current finances, they are much better than they had been three and a half years ago when we started the paper route, yes money played a decision in our taking the job. At the moment we are in really good shape and hopefully we will be able to stay this way, not actually rich but able to pay all our bills. Thank You God!
I began to think about the future and what I hoped I might do and my hopes for my children. Then I realized I had just spent the last five minutes thinking about the past and now I was dreaming and planning the future. I was missing the present.
The present, it hit me, is all I really have. Right NOW! I offered God a Thank You for the Present, HIS gift to me and my family. Our home, food to eat, our health. I have a tendency to remember the past or think about the future too much. I need to spend more time in the present. Often, in the past, I have been worried, lost sleep, even felt sick, over problems that never materialized. They were real issues, but things worked out okay, Thank You God! In the past I have planned out my future, only to have life totally change my plans, most often for the better. Thank You God.
What I realized is, that while I should remember all the blessings God has given me in the past and that I should continue to trust in Him for my future, I need to regularly spend time in the here and now and acknowledge his loving care for me at this Present Moment. This is really tough for me as I am always thinking about mostly what I need to do next. I tend to live my life more in the future than now.
Thanksgiving is a day set aside that naturally focuses our attention to our past. But five seconds ago is now our past and we can only live our lives in the present. So we should acknowledge all the blessings we have received up to now and with a courageous heart trust in God for our future welfare while we accept and recognize the blessings that are happening now.
Tomorrow, there I go again, I will stuff myself with Turkey, Potato Stuffing, Copes Corn, Cranberry Sauce, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Pie, Ice Cream and other delights. For now, my mind is crammed trying to digest all the blessings I am receiving this moment, and I have no wish to diet from them.
Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving
Dennis P. McGeehan