Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
I don’t have time to write this! I’m crashing in the last few minutes of October 31st to get this new issue onto the web. Stopping to be thankful has been hard. I’ve said to myself the past few days, I’ve got to slow down, I’ve got to stop and write about what I’m thankful about. I’ve asked my readers to do it, so I should do the same! It’s been impossible! There’s too much to do! I’ve got to code, I’ve got to make sure all the articles are in, I’ve got to change graphics, I’ve got to make sure all the links work … and hey, there’s laundry to do, and a full time job to go to … who has time to meditate on blessings?
So here I sit, a few minutes past midnight on November first, clearing time in my schedule to be thankful. I thought, okay, I’ll jot down a few things and toss them up there. It will be done, and I can get back to work. Then I picked up the Bible [isn’t that where all the trouble begins!] and found the passage from 1 Thessalonians, and realized I’d been doing it all wrong!
In my rush to sit and think about my praises and thanksgivings, I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to be doing it all along … not trying to find time for it!
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.
What powerful words. When I’m swearing at the computer, tracking a link that won’t work, hounding contributors for stories, I forget to rejoice, to praise and to give thanks! I should be rejoicing in all these matters!
I’m thankful I have a computer, I’m thankful I know how to work out the bug in the link, and I’m ever thankful for contributors to Whosoever, no matter when they turn in their articles!
I’m thankful that just when I think I’ve lost touch with God, I can open the Bible and immediately get back in touch. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 were God’s words to me tonight, and I rejoice. We all need reminders sometimes, and this was mine.
So, here’s a few more of my praises:
I’m thankful for the time and ability to bring Whosoever to readers like you.
I’m thankful for the letters of support I receive almost on a daily basis. They remind me why I started this magazine in the first place: to reach my hurting brothers and sisters.
I’m thankful for the letters of persecution I get, almost on a daily basis. They remind me how much work still needs to be done!
I’m thankful for all the blessings provided by God: my spouse, my pets, my family, my home, my job, my church and my friends.
Most of all, I’m thankful that God is a real and constant presence in my life. It is probably the greatest witness to the fact that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people are indeed sons and daughters of God!
May God richly bless you all during this holiday season. Remember, rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances.
Founder of Motley Mystic and the Jubilee! Circle interfaith spiritual community In Columbia, S.C., Candace Chellew (she/her) is the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians (Jossey-Bass, 2008). Founder and Editor Emeritus of Whosoever, she earned her masters of theological studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, was ordained by Gentle Spirit Christian Church in December 2003, and trained as a spiritual director through the Omega Point program of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. She is also a musician and animal lover.