Rather than put together an exhaustive list of all amazing blessings that I’m thankful for (like I do most years), I’ve decided to go a little deeper and focus on the Top 3…
#1 – The Gospel of Christ
Nothing has changed my life more than the Good News. How the creator of the universe could humble himself to the extent of becoming a man and sacrificing himself for a people that had betrayed him (myself included) is still a complete mystery to me, but I accept his gift and am grateful for it nonetheless.
Each day that God gifts me with another sunrise and breath in my lungs, I am more and more astonished by how gracious and merciful he really is. It was one thing for him to forgive me of my sins before I had committed my life to following him, but to continue to incessently forgive my never-ending sins of pride, lust, and greed even now that I know better baffles me.
Though I don’t even think I’m capable of fully understanding the extent of his love, I do believe that I experience it everyday and as such, I am motivated to share it with as many people as I can.
The Gospel transformed my heart and my life and I am eternally thankful for it.
#2 – My Family
I have the greatest family in the whole wide world. From my amazing wife and my two wonderful daughters to my magnificent parents and my delightful siblings, from my adorable nieces and nephews to my fantastic in-laws, my marvelous cousins, and all of my closest friends (from all around the world), I have been blessed with the most spectacular influences that any man could ask for.
From these outstanding influences I learned the value of hard work, the true meaning of loyalty, the nuances of beer-drinking, trash-talking, backyard-bbqs, and the proper execution of “picking up right where we left off.” As such, I have not only received an ivy-league education in the art of relationships, I have real world experience in how to be the type of friend that a friend would like to have.
I won the lottery when I was born into the Bravo family and I am so thankful for it.
#3 – Perspective
In light of both the Gospel and my family, I understand that I have lived an incredibly fortunate and blessed life. That’s not to say that my life has been without struggle, but it could have been so much worse. Could it have been better? Perhaps. But it very easily could have been so much worse.
With this perspective in mind, I choose to be an extreme optimist. Not just the kind of optimist who sees the glass as “half-full”, but more so the kind of optimist who is ecstatic that a glass can even exist simply by applying heat and pressure to sand! That glass exists is basically magic!
So, no matter what happens, I desire to always find the good in every situation. Not to fool myself or to be a fool for others, but because I have already been blessed with so much that if I never catch another break for as long as I live I will still die ahead. And let us not forget, I did nothing to deserve these blessings. They have all been gifts, including the free will to choose my perspective.
Therefore, I choose to be hopeful, joyful, and thankful. Hopeful for the opportunities that tomorrow may bring and hopeful for the redemption that will come as a result of my failures. Joyful for both the blessings I receive as well as for my prayers that are denied. And thankful that I am only responsible for my actions and my reactions and that the weight of the world is not for me carry as I am ill equipped to do so.
Here’s to the beginning of another wonderful Holiday Season! I pray that each of you are surrounded from near and far with so much love that you are overflowing with the stuff and sharing it with your neighbors.
Happy Thanksgiving 2015 and Thanks Be To God!