Thanksgiving and Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway

Thanksgiving Perspective Chicago Dan RyanChicago — on the Dan Ryan

He was coming up over a hill at sixty-five miles per hour on the Dan Ryan Expressway. His three year-old son was doing what many three year-olds did in those days, he was standing up in the middle of the back seat, so he could see out the windshield. Suddenly, as he came up over the rise, there were wrecked cars everywhere. There was no time to react. The situation was impossible. A high speed impact was unavoidable. But then, just at the last moment, he saw a tiny gap — he hit the brakes and aimed for it. Meanwhile his three year-old son came flying forward, headfirst, at the windshield. While trying to steer through the accident scene with his left hand, he caught his son in midair with his right and gently guided him onto the front passenger seat.

Somehow, they made it through the maze of wrecked vehicles without even touching another car.

The man’s reaction? The color was drained from his face and he was shaking badly from the outpouring of adrenaline.

His three year old son? He smiled big and said,

“Dad, can we do that again?”


Had he failed to protect his son in that way, it’s possible you would not be reading this, because the man was my father, and I was the three year-old.

You know it’s amazing how important perspective is. What was terrifying to my dad was like a carnival ride to me, all because of our differing perspectives.

About a year ago I changed the way I pray. I begin every prayer giving thanks for various blessings God has poured out on me.

What a difference that simple change has made!

Over the last year my attitude has improved dramatically.

All because of perspective.

Jesus said in John 10:10,

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

It’s been my observation the people who neglect thanksgiving tend to experience the stealing, and killing, and destruction — of their joy. And my friends who are careful to thank God at every opportunity seem to radiate a cheerful spirit. They seem to be living that full abundant life Jesus talked about. (Jesus Himself said that’s why He came — John 10:10)

So why not try it yourself? Even if your life’s a car wreck, you can enjoy God’s Spirit of gladness in the midst of your trial, just by changing your perspective, just by giving thanks to God at every opportunity.

Thanksgiving — it’s a key to living the abundant life Jesus desires you to live.

So give thanks.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.Psalm 100:4-5

[Image via celikins, Creative Commons]

[You might also like The Oil of Gladness by Spurgeon]

2 Comments on “Thanksgiving and Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway

  1. Pingback: One of the Strangest Questions Jesus Ever Asked | God Running

  2. As Thanksgiving Day comes to a close I think about how there are turkeys and then there are “turkeys” we run into on occasion. The turkey gets a bad rap all year long whenever we, in annoyance, call someone a “turkey”. I don’t know why we do that, do you?

    Then at Thanksgiving the bird gets all the praise, that is if turkey is being served in lieu of other things that people place upon their tables. But my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the urge to celebrate it everyday. I find a multitude of reasons daily to be thankful for my Savior, my salvation, my family, and the wonderful bounty He has given me throughout my life. I praise Him for His peace, protection, provision, and providence; they are out of this world!

    However, I know that we all, like sheep, have gone astray when we don the proverbial “turkey” mentality and make assumptions about people, yet we have no clue. We think we know all about a person and size him/her up either at a glance, or in five minutes of conversation, and during that time they become in our eyes either a hero or a turkey. Next time we have the urge to call someone a turkey, let’s look in the mirror, walk away and be thankful everyday, several times a day!

    For example, I really admire firemen and policemen; in my opinion they don’t get paid enough for what they do, and I recognize there are other pursuits equally or more dangerous than these. Yet, I’m especially thankful for them, not just today, but each and every day. Imagine being without fire or police personnel in the community. I thank God for them and for the talents and compassion they display when they courageously put their lives on the line for the likes of us, especially when some tend to behave ungratefully, like the “turkey” who may be unwilling to sacrifice for others.

    And so, I thought I knew what kind of person Kurt Bennett was from a couple of conversations until I read this blog. I never knew that my friend, Kurt, was training at an early age to be a daring individual and an amazing flying trapeze artist. Way to go, Kurt! That explains it all, catapulting fearlessly into danger with a smile on your face, saying you’d do it all over again to serve a God-given purpose.

    Thank you for taking the time out of your day to share this wonderful story about your miraculous beginning and for blessing the community through blog. This is for all of your readers and for you:

    Psa 139:13 For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    Psa 139:14 I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.
    Psa 139:15 My frame wasn’t hidden from you, when I was made in secret, woven together in the depths of the earth.
    Psa 139:16 Your eyes saw my body. In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them.
    Psa 139:17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
    Psa 139:18 If I would count them, they are more in number than the sand. When I wake up, I am still with you.

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