Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving a Little

But I really didn't give that much. Really, it was just a little.

When I look back at most of the Thanksgivings that I've survived, I can honestly say that I've enjoyed them for selfish reasons. Sometimes those selfish reasons involved getting to see family. Sometimes those selfish reasons involved staying away from family and simply relaxing alone. Just about every time, those selfish reasons have involved eating more than a single person should have the right to attempt to shove down one's gullet.

Today, probably for the first time in my life, I spent my Thanksgiving participating in an event that was designed to help our fellow man. Here in Roanoke, there's an annual event called the Drumstick Dash. It's a 5k run/walk that's held each year to benefit the Rescue Mission, a ministry that helps those who need a place to stay and a warm meal. The tagline for the event: "Move your feet so others can eat."

I can't say that I ran the 5k. I didn't even run for one block. I walked the entire way. But at least I can say that I've participated in a 5k. The first place finisher crossed the finish line in 15 minutes, 31.34 seconds. I finished at just under an hour and 10 minutes. And now, I'm setting a goal for myself. I want to run the Drumstick Dash 5k next year. I won't shoot for a crazy time like 15 minutes. But I would be happy if I could do it in under half an hour.

Please don't think I'm trying to toot my own horn. I'm really not trying to say that I did much. I donated a little time and a little money to a worthy cause. There are people out there who do so much more in working with this worthwhile ministry. I'm just glad I was here in town this year to take part in something more important than focusing on myself during a holiday that often celebrates greed and gluttony. After all, as Barney Stinson has described it, it's called Thanksgiving, not Thankstaking.

After the walk this morning, I came back to my apartment and relaxed. There wasn't a big meal this year. And the only family I saw was my sister, who sort of talked me into doing the Drumstick Dash in the first place.

This is one of those days during the year when we remember how much we take for granted. There's so much in my life that I have to be thankful for. And, aside from the things I can consciously acknowledge that I'm thankful for, I'm certain there's so much more that's buried somewhere in my mind. I know it's only a matter of time before I start taking these things for granted all over again. I just hope it's not a long time before I receive another reminder.

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