I took Wednesday off to cook and get ready for the fourteen extra people coming over on Thursday. Despite my determination to be thankful, it was a hard day. I woke up very early, and struggled with a headache most of the day. It was afternoon before I even got to the grocery store.
Thursday morning I woke again at 4am (this is two and a half hours earlier than my norm), with thoughts running through my head about the work situation. Sadness, some anger, some regret.
But guests were coming, and I got to cooking and cleaning, and that helped.
I really wanted to get everything done in such a way that I could attend the ten o'clock Thanksgiving service held at a nearby church. I had looked forward to it all week, and had set the official dinner time so that I would be able to go, and still get back in time to be okay.
But because of the late start on Wednesday, it just wasn't going to work. The closer ten o'clock came, the surer I was of that. So I let it go. A bit more sadness, though I knew it was the best decision.
I was playing the CD "Signatures" by John Michael Talbot, to keep me company while I worked in the kitchen, and to keep my mind on better things than it tended toward when left on its own.
At a certain point, "Come Holy Spirit" began to play. It caught my attention: the centering prayer group I've met with weekly for almost two years always begins with this song.
For whatever reason, I looked at the clock over the dining room table. It was 11:34, right about the time our little group would normally be starting.
It was a real gift. Hearing that song right at that time changed my inner landscape. It made up for missing the service. It opened my heart and made me more able to deal with the sad, angry thoughts, and to move more fully into thankful ones.
I missed the Thanksgiving service. But I was able to serve more thankfully because of this "divine coincidence."
Thanks be to God!