There is a lot wrong with this world we live in. There is the all-too-common violence of theft, assault and even murder of our fellow sojourners that we share space with on this planet. There is built-in bias in our society and our workplaces and our schools, and there are predators in Hollywood, government, and at the corner grocery store that harass and abuse those who are weaker or less advantaged that they are. There is a lack of civility that manifests itself in hate-filled posts on social media toward those who don’t hold the same political, religious, or intellectual worldview, and there are those whose lack of regard for anything other than self lead them to operate heavy, potentially lethal equipment at unsafe speeds while talking on their phones and ignoring everything else around them. We live in a world where world leaders publicly behave in childish ways, and engage in a pattern of public brinksmanship that risks the lives and futures of those they should be protecting and serving.
However, despite the evident brokenness of the world around us, we can find things to be thankful for: When I woke up this morning and turned on the tap at the bathroom sink, clean and drinkable water flowed forth. When I stepped outside, I breathed fresh air and didn’t have to wear a mask like they do in some parts of the world. If I’m hungry, I have a choice of restaurants and fast food places within easy driving distance, or if I want to make my own breakfast there is a grocery store less than a mile away that has any ingredient that I might need. I can pick up my phone and be instantly connected to people I know despite the fact that they live thousands of miles away, or I can listen to whatever music, news, or commentary I feel like at the time. If I want to know something, I can “ask Alexa” and she can (sometimes) provide me with exactly what I was looking for.
I am thankful for the many blessings that I experience in the midst of such a broken and flawed world. This morning, my soul resonates with the words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.”