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Will Sparks 2016 2 inches

Thanksgiving 2017

It probably started earlier than this but my early memories of thinking this way are from reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” I was in my late teens and the book talked about the way we discover the value of things as we pay attention to them. The author created a washer for his motorcycle on the side of the road and using his knife and a beer can. He said that the soft metal of a beer can made just as good a washer as anything you might get at a parts store. The beer can had valuable properties within it that we could easily miss if we didn’t pay attention.

How often do we walk by or throw away things of value? The Flea Market is dedicated to seeing that value in old things. How full of value is our world and how precious are its creatures. In her book, Radical Gratitude, Mary Jo Leddy writes:

“It is ingratitude that blinds us.
Our failure to see what we have, on the way to getting more
Our disregard for what we step over on the way to somewhere else
Our lack of attention to the person by our side on the way to someone else
Our dismissal of the good that we do on the way to something better.”

She is right you know. All we need is right in front of us. All the food the world  needs is produced in abundance- we just have to pass it around. All the tools for peace are in our hands- we just have to trust enough to see them and use them. All the love we need is in us and around us- we just have to cease our grasping, let ourselves out and our neighbour in.

The call to gratitude is a call to pay attention, to cease our fearful chasing after more and better and allow the rich abundance of what already is affect us. This thanksgiving, I invite you to stop for a moment, look around, and allow the precious life  God has given to soak into your soul and let gratitude to grow.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Will Sparks
Lead Minister, Highlands United Church