Written by Dusty Davis, Falling Creek Camp Chaplain

“Seriously?” I thought.

I felt very UN-thankful and quite shocked as the mechanic handed me the bill for $1,621 and said, “Please slide your card now.”

Falling Creek Camp Chaplain Dusty Davis

“Ok, thanks for fixing it so quickly—y’all have a good Thanksgiving,” I said, forcing a smile on my face. I thought my truck only needed a seventy dollar alignment, but instead the new ball joints, CV boots and bearings made me feel like I’d been punched in the gut.

I pouted and grinched all the way to my next stop—the hospital. I grumbled at the parking issues downtown and then rode an elevator to the eighth floor of the immense hospital to the neurotrauma unit. My mountain bike mechanic friend, 30-year-old Jason, lay uncomfortably hooked up to a ventilator, IV’s, and all manner of clear tubes pumping liquids in and draining them out. He had a massive blood vessel rupture in his brain two days ago while getting ready for work.

As I whispered about Jason’s condition with his family, my paradigm shifted. The tiny room felt too crowded so I didn’t linger. The elevator ride down with several silent people sobered me quickly. My petty problems felt trivial in light of those around me. Back in the parking deck I sat in my truck—heavy. My card-swiping gut punch now moved to a heart humbling reality check.

There was something about that bill for $1,621 that was familiar. I asked SIRI, “When was the first Thanksgiving in the U.S.?” She replied in her computery voice, “The first Thanksgiving was in the year 1621.”

Giving thanks—hhmmm, I was reminded of the Bible verse in 1 Thessalonians that says, “Rejoice always, pray all the time and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Group huddle at camp before a game.

God created me and knows what is best for me. He knows when I take my eyes off my problems and give thanks for the good things I am changed. It doesn’t mean I have to be “happy” about an unexpected repair bill or other daily frustrations. But if I am focused on the negative I’ll be a miserable old scrooge. Immediately I began to make a list of everything I had to be thankful for and my whole demeanor changed.

Thanksgiving is what we were designed to do! At this time of year I am so thankful for my Falling Creek family and friends and for each one of you who make camp so special. I want to encourage you to also make a list of what you are thankful for and carry it with you. Think about those things. Give thanks, for this is God’s will for you.