Happy Autumn, friends!
The very first Sunday of November is when we experience a time change. (Fall
back) At least with this kind of change that we all experience together, we know it
is coming. So many changes that occur in our lives (like the Pandemic) happen
suddenly, without our permission, or even a friendly heads up.
Being a pastor and not a therapist, I give advice rather than clinical suggestion. No
matter what the issue is, I almost always incorporate into my advice that an attitude
of gratitude moves us to healthier places. I stand by this advice. It is like when
Mr. Rogers says that in an emergency or tragedy, look for the helpers and be
grateful for them. It is simple but it works.
Now, generosity has entered my rotation of helpful advice, along with gratitude,
since the pandemic. Holding and cultivating a spirit, habit, or theology of
generosity will lead us to healthier places than the ones we are stuck in. It, too, is
very simple. As a whole group (family, church, country, world) we had to live
through being isolated in ways we could not imagine, very suddenly, without our
permission, or even a friendly heads up warning.
It helped us to look upon other people with gratitude as it was displayed on news
shows, toward health care workers and teachers and such, and being generally
grateful for science and masks and vaccines and Zoom. But only being grateful is
not enough to get us to the next phase of health—we need to think about that for
which we are grateful, and then extend generosity to others as a balancing act.
Being generous starts with the impetus to give something that somebody else could
really use. Can you be generous with your time to help a kid with homework, or a
neighbor with a ride? Maybe your charitable financial giving has shifted. When
we are grateful for people and things around us, extending generosity, not
necessarily directly or in kind, is the healthy way forward. What might you offer
in this new season?