Friday, June 17, 2011

Giving Thanks

I start off each day with great intentions: “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace”. And I vow to let pass all those things which trouble and distract me; I do remember: Do Not Be Anxious. And I say my morning prayers and make my commitments to God: “I will do what You desire; hear me O Lord.”

But I think that, each day, His commitments to me are much greater than just the ones I ask for.

We can learn lessons in our lives from many unexpected places; God opens our eyes and we can see, if we are awake. Today as I prayed I recalled the cartoons that mom and I watch each day (I DID say unexpected places, right?). Occasionally I still laugh at something Bugs Bunny does, or chuckle at the many ways Tom the cat tries to catch Jerry. I know that laughter is good for me and I enjoy it, (but in truth I enjoy even more those few times when mom laughs also).

Strangely, I find that I rarely laugh at the cartoon adventures of the Road Runner, and today in my meditations thoughts of that character came to me, and I think I saw something which has lain unseen by me before.

Most cartoons have one character plotting against another, and one of the characters is in effect “the hero”, and one is “the bad guy”. The hero is easy to spot; he never gets hurt. The bad guy has all sorts of disasters happen to him, some the plans of the hero, but most the result of his own failed plots to harm the hero. But the Road Runner is different in that he runs through the cartoon without trying to attack or retaliate against his nemesis, Wile E. Coyote. In fact, it most often seems that the Road Runner races through life focused on where he is going, and is not even aware that he is being attacked by Mr. Coyote. While many other cartoon characters celebrate when the bad guy fails to harm them (or harms himself), the Road Runner is oblivious to it all.

And I realized that I am much like the Road Runner in this regard.

I race through my day focused on my plans: How often do I really ask God what are His? Sometimes I see a pothole in the road ahead, and I successfully steer around it. And on other occasions I see disaster coming and I pray that God help it pass me by, and most often it does. We seem to work together, when I ask. But I think that throughout much of my life there are many other disasters aimed at me, and I don’t steer around them nor ask for help. There is an evil one plotting against me and laying traps and seeking my destruction, but the evils don’t happen to me, and I am not even aware of their constant dangers. Just like the Road Runner.

A rock is aimed to fall on the Road Runner, but he races past before it hits. The dynamite is set to blast Road Runner, but the fuse is longer than the Coyote thought, and only he is blasted. He puts glue in the road to catch Road Runner, and strangely it doesn’t; it only catches him.

Contrary to his name, is Wile E. Coyote that stupid, or is someone watching over the Road Runner?

In my youth, I sometimes partied late into the night, and awoke the next morning a bit perplexed at how I ended up in my bed; what perils had I avoided last night? Friends or family faced serious illness or death, and on occasion so did I, but we lived on as my prayers were answered, but I saw no one save them, or me. Financial ruin or job-ending errors seemed unavoidable sometimes, and they happened, but looking back I can see I was not harmed; I did not die, as I expected.

Why not?

And how many other disasters happened to me or around me that I was not even aware of, and I was saved from life-ending terrors. And I didn’t even know it.

I think there were many.

We so often go through life, like the Road Runner, so focused on where we want to go. And we act as if we are going down the road alone, but we’re not. There are so many dangers out there, more than we are even aware, and there God is also, to protect us. Even if we are unaware.

That’s what Fathers do, you know. Children go on with their plans, unaware of danger. For despite the wisdom they think they have, they are only children.

Take time to give thanks each day, to God your Father, who watches over you. There are things which go “bump” in the night, and you are never really sure of the possible dangers lurking there, but He knows what they are. And He saves you. You needn’t worry.

Give thanks, to the Father who always loves us. Perhaps especially this weekend, give thanks.



  1. Memo to self: Remember, the morning after you wrote this, taking out mom's trash in the early morning, you saw for the first time ever, a coyote crossing the road. God is good.

  2. Tom-this is amazingly wonderful! What a great reflection and comparison of our lives to that of the Road Runner-always cared for whether we realize it or not. Love it!