The Hunt
by Joni Eareckson Tada
Dear Dewey,
“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3
I will never forget Thanksgiving Day of 1963.  I was 14 years old, living on a farm in Maryland, and Mr. Cauthorne, the owner of the big estate across the river, invited me to go on a fox hunt.  Early on Thanksgiving morning, my dad helped me trailer my thoroughbred over to the hunt club.  Within minutes, I saddled up and looked around for Mr. Cauthorne.  I spotted him by the barn sitting atop his hunt-wisened horse.  He had on his red coat, with hounds by his side.  The paddock was abuzz with dogs barking and horses neighing.
The bugle sounded and — We’re off!  I reined my horse in line behind Mr. Cauthorne, observing how he graciously deferred to the hunt master.  I made certain to do the same.  We spurred our horses into a slow gallop.  I can still feel my hands holding the reins, the wind in my face as we cantered across shaven cornfields and sailed over walls.  We never caught the fox.  But the thrill was less in bagging an animal and more in relishing the ride.  It made turkey dinner back at the hunt club all the more delicious… and my thanks to God all the more personal.
I haven’t sat on a horse in over 40 years.  The only leather I sit on now is the padding of my wheelchair.  No cinches around saddles, only cinches around my middle to help me breathe better.  The clip-clopping of hooves has been replaced by the click-clacking of my wheel bearings.  That’s okay.  I’ll ride in heaven.  In the meantime, I thank God for memories.
Design your own Thanksgiving memories.  Plan a holiday tradition that is unique and suited to your family.  Maybe it’s a football game.  A family puzzle.  Go for a hike before you eat dessert.  Whatever it is, it’ll be memorable if you do it in the spirit of thanksgiving.
Help me to make this holiday a memorable time for my family and friends. Thank You, Lord, for giving us so many blessings for which to thank You.
Joni and Friends
More Precious Than Silver
Copyright © 1998
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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