I’m beginning to think I might be like my Papa. He was glass half full to a fault, wherever he lived that was the best place on earth. A condo in Plymouth, Michigan on an idyllic little pond: the best. A rolling farm in rural Southeast Michigan which was possibly a little too close to a maximum security prison: the best. A modest two-bedroom apartment in Deland, Florida? Yep, the best. At one time my grandparents had a condo in Delray Beach, Florida. Papa’s brother did too, in fact it was in the same complex. A story has been told that at the precise same time my Papa reported that the weather was top notch beautiful, his brother claimed it was a complete downpour. Perhaps it was a little extreme but Papa’s optimism served him well.
The truth is living in Tennessee has never been a particular aim of mine. I love the beach, and since Tennessee doesn’t have one I’ve never dreamed about making the Volunteer state my home. But evidently I’ve got some serious Papa in me, because I’m starting to think Papa-like thoughts. Tennessee is incredibly, incredibly beautiful, and I’m beginning to appreciate why magazines would point to Chattanooga as a top place to live.
And I don’t know how Papa felt when he left one “best place” for another, but I don’t love the DC area one iota less just because I’m falling for Chattanooga. I’ve had three or four (maybe more) people tell me that I seem so “happy” about moving. There’s something about that that feels wrong. Happy? I’ve lived in Northern Virginia nearly half my life. It’s all my children really know. Happy about leaving? No. As a lover of precise language happy just doesn’t work. But I am leaving. So the Papa in me is desperately seeking the best about Tennessee and the Papa in me has found a pot of gold.
But whether Papaness comes naturally or not life is largely about choosing contentment. Paul said he learned to be content with a little or a lot. The man was stoned to death, but didn’t die. He was shipwrecked, imprisoned, and beaten with rods. But what did he say to do in all these circumstances? Give thanks.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Paul’s experience is like a sobering bucket of ice cold water. Yes, I will give thanks for the six weeks I have left in DC! And yes, I will give thanks for the mountaintop football field picture above. How could I not?
What will you give thanks for this weekend?