Giving Thanks

Every Thanksgiving, in addition to taking stock and feeling a general gratefulness for my life, I try to focus on one particular aspect of my life to be thankful for.  This isn’t always an easy choice to make, because the truth is I live a life full of blessings, even so this year, I feel I have a clear choice.

Mt. Blanc Valley

It was a peaceful walk, but disaster wan’t far away.

A little over a year ago I completed the Tour du Mt. Blanc (here’s the old post) with a close friend of mine.  Midway through the trip we were scheduled to climb to the summit of Mt. Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, but the day before my friend said he’d had enough walking up mountains and that if it were all the same to me he’d rather just take a day off to relax in Chamonix.  I was hesitant but decided the mountain could wait.  As we sipped our coffees the next morning,  nine people died in an avalanche along the exact route we would have been taking.

Last week disaster struck in Latvia.  The grocery store I went to every day last year while I was living there collapsed killing over 50 people inside.  If going

Probably not too different from the view from my old window.

Probably not too different from the view from my old window.

there a hundred or so times wasn’t close enough, my dear friend and former roommate was in the store when it collapsed , but by the grace of God survived unharmed.

These aren’t the only times I’ve felt death close by, I worked on Wall Street during 9-11 and one of my closest friends had just stopped working there.  A few other times poor choices I’ve made have put me in situations that were far too dangerous, but the avalanche and store collapse have really driven home how blessedly fortunate I am to have been spared my worst fear: the loss of someone close to me through tragedy.

Perhaps someday I won’t be so lucky or perhaps I’ll be the unlucky one, but to know that both my friend in Washington and my friends in Latvia are sleeping safely is a blessing that defies description.  To have close friends is life’s greatest joy, to have them safe and sound is more than I could ask for, but I’m thankful all the same.

“One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we become ungrateful..we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..” 

― Joel Osteen

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