So last night I went to a great program called “La Cave” which is an international exchange program hosted by a catholic church and which takes place…wait for it…in an old olive cave. And when I say “cave” I do mean “cave.” This thing is really tight. It’s artificially made, but the place has to be hundreds of years old. I’m pretty sure there’s some gypsum seeping out of the walls. Wow. Tangent.
ANYWAY, they had their Thanksgiving dinner last night and as part of it they did two special things: 1) A friend of mine and I were asked to present on Thanksgiving to kind of explain what it’s all about. Because, as I said before, people outside the US really don’t understand. 2) Everyone was asked to write something they were thankful for on a post-it and then put it on the wall around a nicely-made turkey decoration.
And I was really struck by something. The girl I was siting next to wasn’t “croyant” which is a much more beautiful way of saying that she doesn’t really do the whole God/religion thing. And this is actually pretty common in France. Two world wars on your home turf really doesn’t help your faith in God. But what I found interesting was that she was like “I don’t know what to say on my post it.” And I just looked at her. Because for me, giving thanks is about as easy as breathing. I mean. Right now I’m awake, alive, have access to food and water, am in France, have a loving and largely healthy family…the list goes on. But it made me wonder if maybe there are a few things in religion that people miss out on when they skip it. Being thankful sounds strange to a “non-believer” because, well, who are you thanking? But being appreciative of what you have and recognizing what is truly wonderful in your life. That’s a wonder I don’t think people should skip on.