It’s time to Break It Down!
Reprinted from Break It Down! – 11/24/10
As in the past, since it is Thanksgiving Week, this post will deviate from the standard fare. I know that travel schedules, meal planning, family time, shopping, football, parades, and if there is anytime remaining, relaxation, will dominate the next week. But it is Wednesday, so there shall be a blog! But it is definitely brief. 😉
Those among us who have ascended to genuine righteousness and perfected humility have, no doubt, elevated giving thanks to an art form, also. The rest of us are left to fully vest our appreciation in the notion, “That’s why we have Thanksgiving!”
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, which kicks of what we refer to commonly as the Holiday Season. Almost instinctively, Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind. But there is so more than that to the Holiday Season. Over the next 54days, many of us will enjoy succulent feasting at Thanksgiving, exchange gifts and contribute to those in need during Hanukkah, buy, give, exchange, and/or receive gifts at Christmas, eat, drink, and celebrate the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa, party and toast the dawn of 2011, on New Year’s Day, and honor the life and works of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on MLK Day. In addition, even in these tough economic times, millions of Americanswill pay (literally) homageto our most celebrated of shoppers’ holidays, Black Friday, by rising early, and proceeding to scour the aisles for those perfect gifts…and if not perfect, at least cheap, relatively speaking.
In the past I have recounted my reasons for being thankful. While in many ways this has been a particularly challenging year for me, personally, perhaps the most challenging yet, I find that I have more reasons than ever to sit contemplativelyin humble repose, and to affirm boldly, that I know, without caveat, not only the goodness of God, but of his inestimableand inexhaustiblebeneficence. I thank Him for deliverance, and for imbuing me with the sense and sensibility to discern the distinction between kairos and chronos; Greekconcepts for God’s time, and man’s time, respectively.
Eons ago, when I was a college student, I joined a fraternity; the Oldest, Boldest, and Coldest…I digress. The point of this reference is that during what was known as the pledge process, prospective initiates were required to learn a series of poems. There were many, and each one was selected to convey a specific life lesson. Many of them have stayed with me, but none more thanInvictus, written by English poet, William Ernest Henley (1849-1903), and never more than this year. The Latintranslation for Invictus is undefeated. You may recall it, but just in case, see it below:
Invictus (Latin for Undefeated) By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
So, as you go about your way tomorrow, and all the tomorrows that follow, recognize that Thanksgiving, at its core, is not a day on the calendar. It is a spirit that dwells within us, and that prompts us to thank God (for our being undefeated), and to share His blessings with our fellow men and women. Indeed, everyday is “A Time for Giving Thanks!”
I’m done; holla back!
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