The Cardinal Times
I am most thankful for...Thursday, November 10, 2011 By Shannon Clark
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. - It would be hard to pick one thing I am most thankful for and write about it. Yet, that is what I asked of the students writers for The Cardinal Times. So, they challenged me right back. “Mrs. Clark, you need to write something.” Hmm. The challenge isn’t as easy as I thought. My faith would be the most obvious answer, along with the freedom to attend church and worship freely. My husband, family, and friends are invaluable to me. I am thankful for my job and working with wonderful colleagues, and an opportunity to serve young people. I am thankful for health and a roof over my head. And for Krispy Kreme doughnuts! But, I am forgetting the challenge; I have to pick one thing to write about. And so, I will write about life. I am thankful for my life…and your life…and the lives of those who have passed on. Life is a gift, and every day we have it is precious. Just like everything else, there is a beginning and an end, and we don’t know when the latter will be. So, each day, we must celebrate our lives and the lives of those who surround us. Everyone’s life matters; we all belong to someone. We have a purpose, and we all offer something different, unique and wonderful to the world. Even the hardest of hearts possesses something special only they can offer the world. Even those who are in the midst of the most trying times of their lives are offering something to the world. Whether you realize it or not, people watch the way you live your life -- how you handle triumphs, heartache and defeat. Why? Because no one has everything figured out, and we look for examples. What we choose to offer to the world in the midst of life’s ups and downs is our decision. But I think, no matter what, the world looks for hope. And love. One person’s life may be filled caring for those whose lives are nearing the end. Another person might be getting ready to give birth to a new life and a new world of possibilities. Maybe two lives are soon to become one in matrimony. There are others who are grieving the loss of a life, or the way life used to be. Or maybe there are those whose lives are filled with the hustle and bustle of a busy schedule. In the midst of it all, sometimes we forget to pause and be thankful for the life we have. Someone wise once said, “If you could put all the world’s biggest problems in one bag, and you were given a chance to put your worst problem in the bag and draw out a new one, most everyone would want to draw their own.” How true. Although there have been heartaches in my life, I don’t think I would want to trade places with anyone. All those experiences have shaped who I am today. So, I am thankful for the good times, and yes, the bad ones. Many of you dedicate your lives to serving others, in your churches, in your jobs, and in your families. Most of you do this without even knowing what it means to those you are serving, and just how deeply you are enriching their lives. And, most of those people don’t know how they are touching yours. We tend not to share those things too much. But we all have it – that love for each other that is embedded deep inside us. Some days, we are life encouragers to some people, whether it be through a kind word, a visit to the hospital, a home-cooked meal, a pat on the back, or a note in their mail box. Other days, we will be receivers of their kindness. The love and kindness shown to each other is what keeps us all going. It’s the circle of life.