Thanksgiving Memories...

Nick Alexander here...

When I was nine years old, I had dropped the chance to be Simon.... from Alvin and the Chipmunks.

My family had just moved to New York City, and my mother took a sales job at Macy's. One of the perks of working there is that, every Thanksgiving, you and your family all had to trudge yourself out of bed at three-o-clock in the morning, head over to a decrepid warehouse, one which had been converted into a huge costuming facility, and get yourselves made up into any number of costumes, to march in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It was my first time, and I was looking forward to being a clown. We were to march in front of the Muppet bus--the same schoolbus that was in The Muppet Movie. All the muppet characters were inside the bus, looking out, waving to thousands of children on the streets, and millions of viewers in their homes. It was exciting.

But while I waited in line, there was this costume facilitator wandering throughout the lines, calling for anyone to be "Simon". The one who was supposed to be Simon called out sick, and he needed a tall replacement. I happened to have been tall for my age, the perfect height, and so he singled me out. "Wanna be Simon?"

Being my first time, I was confused. I didn't want to separate from my sister, and, well, I was scared. This was uncharted territory. I was trained to be a clown. I could handle being a clown. There were thousands of clowns at this event, and I could smile and be goofy in relative anonymity. But ... a Chipmunk? I'd be the center of attention, (for a little bit), and have to shake hands with tons of children.

The man came to me three times. Three times I refused. I had to be the clown. And to think, for all these years, having memories of being a clown in the parade, I could have been Simon.

So, this Thanksgiving, I thank God for the choices I've faced throughout my life, and the blessings that God had given to me. But many of these same blessings were the result of hard, crazy choices that, had I refused, would never had come again. I've since learned that I have to trust Him, even when presented with a crazy opportunity, knowing that He would be there to bring more blessings from it. Most of my wonderful blessings in life came as a result of trusting God in uncharted territory for me--including converting to the Catholic Church.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Give Thanks to our wonderful Lord, who always has a tremendous plan for your lives, a tremendous crazy opportunity that would mix the best of your talents, the uniqueness of your character, with the needs of the community that you live in. Who raises up incredible saints.

And be sure to check out the Thanksgiving related posts on this board.