The Day After

By Gerry Wakeland

The leftovers are wrapped up; the good china is washed and put away. The Pilgrim decorations are back in their box to be stored until next year and we are on to the next holiday. We have Christmas lights to be strung on the house, shopping to be done and cookies to bake.

STOP! Rewind!

Yesterday I woke up and thought about the men, women and children who made the daring voyage across the ocean to find a land where they could worship their God the way they chose. Many of them did not survive that trip. Their bones lay on the ocean floor.

Those that did land on the shores of the new world suffered terrible hardships that first year, starvation, disease, and Indian wars. They did so in the name of freedom. Trusting their God would save them. And He did. Those same men and women are our ancestors, our heroes. Where would we be today without them?

Yesterday I woke up counting the many, and I do mean many, blessings in my life. Why should today be any different?

Just because those Thanksgiving decorations sit in a box in the attic does not mean that our gratitude should reside in that box with them.

So take a minute and think about what you are grateful for today, Here’s just a short part of my list.

  • My Savior and the promise of eternity
  • Family and friends
  • Freedom to worship
  • Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church and all that it stands for
  • Our pastors and other church leaders who lead with integrity
  • Men and women like Robert Stockton, Wes Cox, Nathaniel Meisner, Esequiel Padilla and so many others who serve and protect our city
  • Men and women like Joseph Dorroh, Chad Morgan, Justin Leetham and others who serve our nation here at home and all over the world. And the veterans, many who sacrificed their lives, to guarantee our freedom and that of others.
  • Water that runs directly out of the faucet, already hot and clean and the fact that I did not have to walk for miles carrying it in buckets and I can use as much as I want. People in places like Malawi do not have that luxury.
  • Every morning I take a deep breath and am reminded of my mother who could not do that. Most of us take breathing for granted.

This is just the beginning; the list goes on and on, pages and pages. You can see that we really have a lot to be thankful for.

This year let’s try something different. Even as we transition from the reflections of a day focused on thankfulness inito the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations let’s take a moment each day to stop and say a prayer of thanksgiving. Let us always remember the sacrifices that were made so that we can be who we are and where we are today and let’s not forget the greatest sacrifice of all,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son…” John 3:16

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