On this Thanksgiving Day, I find myself alone. And sick. The litany of ailments which plagues my body this week is almost comical. I am too weak to write this post at a computer and so I peck it out on my phone. Making for myself a cup of instant chicken soup (and keeping it down) is my big accomplishment over yesterday.
And yet I am profoundly thankful.
I think the worst of my fever is past, although I may still be delusional. I’m quite sure some may write me off as raving when they hear what I am too say.
A few weeks ago, under no virus induced delerium, I posted on Twitter a thought which I think bears repeating in light of this day.
When I breathe my last of the air of this world, I want to know that every breath has been spent in the service of Him who breathes life.
— Caleb Maclennan (@CalebMaclennan) November 3rd, 2012
This thought was not the utterance of an armchair. These words were not formed while staring listlessly into a fire dreaming about how life should be. They were a cry from the trenches; hue from the battle. I was under pressure and I didn’t know how much more I could handle. “My last breath” was less a poetic construct than it was the flavor in my mouth.
And I meant it.
There weariness of the last few months, esp the last several weeks of crisis management, and constant knowledge of all the needs I was unable to attend to, undoubtedly contributed to how hard this illness has hit me now.
And yet I do not regret the expenditure.
It is truly better too give than to receive. And more importantly, I know who I am thankful to. It is not for health nor wealth nor fame nor any other pleasure that I am thankful for. I am not an asceticist that I take no pleasures in the beauties that do exist even in our fallen world, yet it is not for them that I live or die – and die I will soon enough. It is for my master and His bidding that I yet live. It is He who gives me each breath – and allows both health and sickness for my good in their seasons – and it is He who will one day cease to grant me breath because my work on earth is done.
On this Thanksgiving, it is far less about what I am thankful for than who I am thankful to.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. — Jude 1:24-25 ESV