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Bonus Season

By Dan Baumgartner on
Dan Baumgartner
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Nov 22 in Musings
By the time you read this, it will be post-Thanksgiving, and hopefully you all enjoyed rich times of friendship, food, worship or prayer. It strikes me that this year we have the added bonus of getting a short “season” of thanksgiving rather than merely one day. I love that. A day of celebration is wonderful, but for all the buildup it goes by very quickly and we move on to the next thing. Seasons, on the other hand, tend to help us build lasting patterns. The way this year’s calendar falls, there is an extra Sunday and almost an extra week between Thanksgiving and the beginning of Advent. A season of thanksgiving.
G.K. Chesterton is one of my very favorite literary figures from the early 20th century.  Chesterton was six-foot four, over 3oo pounds, with unruly curly hair. He was a bear of a man with a squeaky little voice, usually seen with a cape, a crumpled hat and a walking stick. He came to faith in Christ later in life. He was a fabulously articulate man who entertained large crowds in London with his wit and intelligence, and loved to debate with people like George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and Bertrand Russell.
Chesterton wrote 80 books, hundreds of poems, 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays.  He was a literary and social critic, historian, playwright, novelist, theologian, debater, columnist, publisher, and even an author for the Encyclopedia Brittanica. He was well known to dash off the one, only and final draft of a lengthy newspaper editorial...on a stained scrap of paper while at the lunch table. No edits required. Rarely have I read about a person who had so many ideas.
Toward the very end of his reluctant autobiography, (which he finished just a couple weeks before he died), he tried to sum up his life’s journey. He wrote “I hope…it is not pompous…to call the one chief idea of my life…[note: here we hold our collective breath to read what single idea of this massively fertile mind stands out from all the others]…the idea…of taking things with gratitude, not taking things for granted.”
Gratitude. Chesterton’s one chief idea. Imagine that. And so in these days, post-Thanksgiving Day and before Advent, this short season...let us continue cultivating hearts of thanksgiving. God is good.
See you soon,
    Pastor Dan

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