Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney

Weekly Meditation

Pastor Wayne began his ministry at Monroeville in August, 1993, after graduating from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. Pastor Wayne has his Doctorate of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on ministry in the small church.

In his spare time, Pastor Wayne loves running, reading and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.

Pastor Wayne is married to Rev. Wendy Schindler-Chasney, pastor of St. John's UCC, Milan. They have two daughters.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name." (Psalm 100:4)

    I saw a quote last week that said, "We are not just thankful because we are happy; we are happy because we are thankful."
    What that says to me is that this being thankful thing we focus on this time of the year is hard work. Or at least it ought to be. But too often I don't want to work that hard. You see, when I count my blessings, I count all the good things in my life - all the things that make me happy. My family, my good health, my job, my friends. When I'm really being honest I'm thankful for some of my stuff, too - stuff like my car, my grandmother's grandfather clock, my indoor bicycle smart trainer and subscription to Zwift that lets me do cool rides from the relative comfort of my basement. But counting all these blessings simply reminds me I'm happy. I'm thankful because I am happy.
    The real work comes in being thankful even in the midst of those things that don't make me happy. There are the challenges that come with two teenage daughters. Yes, they make me happy, but am I still thankful when they try my patience? Yes, my job makes me happy...most of the time. Can I still be thankful when I'm receiving criticism or spending large amounts of time setting up chairs and tables and taking down chairs and tables and moving chairs and tables? They never taught me at seminary how much time I would spend on such mundane tasks.
    The point is it's easy to be thankful when we're happy. But if we can do the hard work and remember to be thankful even in the midst of life's challenges, then we're less likely to find ourselves UN-happy. Gratitude has an amazing power to fill our hearts with joy and make our lives full. Don't just count your blessings when you're feeling blessed. Even when times are tough, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving...give thanks..." and bless God's name! You'll be happy you did.
    Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!