It’s almost that season of the year when we will begin to see the holiday movies on TV: “A Christmas Carol,” “A Christmas Story,” “The Santa Clause,” “Miracle On 34th Street,” “White Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” One we can count on seeing numerous times in December is “It’s A Wonderful Life” with Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart.
You remember the story, how George (Jimmy Stewart) is going through financial difficulties and wishes he had never been born. But then Clarence, a friendly angel, shows him how different and less beautiful things would have been without him. At the end, of course, George and his wife, Mary (Donna Reed), realize that in good times or other times not so good, when you put everything in proper perspective, “It’s A Wonderful Life!” The author of Psalm 95 believed that, and so he wrote, “Let us come before God with thanksgiving, and extol God with music and song.”
Life is wonderful, which is why most of us cling to it so tenaciously. In spite of trials and troubles, pains and problems too many to number, if we take notice we find that day by day, beauties and blessings still abound. Sometimes some of us are just too busy or stressed to pause and observe. So we focus on the negatives and fail to see the blessings. Like Kathy Mattea sang, we’re “knee deep in a river, dying of thirst.”
Recently I saw a poster that said: “There’s always something to be thankful for.” Beneath those words were pictures of several identical pumpkins, each containing a different word: “health,” “home,” “family,” “friends,” “food,” “freedom.” I would make the first word on the list “faith”... or maybe just the name of the One in whom our faith resides: “Jesus.” Here’s my suggestion – Write your own list. Jot down everything and everyone for whom you are thankful. Then read it out loud, making additions as they occur to you. My guess is you’ll soon find yourself saying, “Jimmy and Donna were right. It really is a wonderful life!”