Gratitude is a skill that needs to be learned. Our human default is dissatisfaction: the world is never quite right. There is something wrong with our car, our home, our work, our life. "If only.." is the expression that we constantly use with ourselves. We rarely sit down and count our blessings - from the very basic facts (we woke up, we have good health) to those important gifts of life (we are loved by others). We are not good at being grateful.
And our lack of gratitude leads to a sense of entitlement. We presume that the normal is good health and three meals every day; and the moment this pattern is disturbed, we lapse into anger and rage. So this Thanksgiving, we are being invited to really live into the spirit of the season. We are grateful for all those things for which we forget to thank God. We are going to pause and really count our blessings. We are going to appreciate the things we have and not complain about the things that we lack.
For me, this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for this community of Virginia Theological Seminary. We do so much. And we do it so well. Women and men, students, staff, and faculty, our Board, our alums and friends - all of us come together to ensure that this place goes from strength to strength. Thank you. And thank you to the God that makes all this possible.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President