Journey to the Summit of Thanksgiving

This morning my mind drifted back to a solo climb I had done of Kit Carson Peak.  This is a remote peak in the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountains.  It was a tough trek, made more difficult by a chest cold I had been fighting.  After being up above 13,000 feet for a few hours, my body and my mind were saying: “Let’s climb this one another day!!”  They weren’t just suggesting it, they were shouting it.  I do confess that I was ready to call it quits when I decided to stop and take time to pray, giving thanks for the awesome beauty stretched out before my eyes.  Soon after that prayer, I began to regain my strength and determination to reach the summit.  Before I knew it, I reached the summit at 14,165 feet.  It was glorious (as most every summit is)!

There were awesome views to take in and food to munch, but the one thing that stands out above all the rest is when I took time to give thanks to God.  There was surely much to give thanks for at that moment…including my physical well-being.  I pulled out my pocket-sized Bible and read Psalm 8.  That psalm begins and ends with these words: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”   Looking out from the top of Kit Carson Peak brought that psalm to life!  There were several 14,000 foot peaks nearby that brought back memories of other climbs I had made…Crestone Needle (my first 14’er), Crestone Peak (flying a kite from the summit), Challenger (another solo climb), Humbolt (the first 14’er for some of my family), and there far below was the mystery of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument that we had rolled down together as a family. Stretching out to the horizons were 1,000’s of miles of awesome beauty waiting to be explored.  It was indeed a “thankful” and worshipful moment.

Times like that seem natural for giving thanks to God.  Times of deliverance from some great fear or experiencing some great excitement can bring out the thanksgiving in us.  Yet, truth be known, God desires and delights in our giving of thanks at all times.  Ephesians 5:20 tells us to “always give thanks to God the Father for everything.” We are all asked to make that journey to the summit of thanksgiving.

Hopefully, you will be reading this in the days before Thanksgiving Day.  It’s wonderful to have a day set aside for all of us to give thanks.  It is good to have a Thanksgiving Day, but it’s even better to give thanks each and every day.  Today is a good day to focus on the journey to the summit of thanksgiving and make it a regular part of our daily lives.  Even in the midst of what seems to be the absolute worst of times in our lives, pausing to give thanks to our Lord can truly strengthen us for life’s journey.  It can change our perspective in ways we may not have been thinking about.

God has indeed blessed us with so many different blessings.  Most all of these were given as gifts from Him, so that we might be able to bless others.  On this Thanksgiving Day, as you journey to the summit of thanksgiving, may you not only give thanks to God for all His blessings, but may you also use those blessings for His Glory!!

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