Thanksformation from a Bostonian


You might think it strange putting such a weird word (thanksformation) in the title but if you hang on and follow my drift it will begin to make sense–I hope. Here it goes.

I lived in Boston for 7 years and grew to love the northeast. It was full of American history with quaint fishing villages, historic homes in the 16th and 17th centuries, events throughout the year celebrating American events, and Boston driving–yes Boston driving.

I loved driving in Boston. Bostonians are the most aggressive drivers around. Their goal is to get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time and use their right hand to honk the horn when someone detracts them from accomplishing their mission. I cut my teeth on the narrow back roads and the line free streets of downtown Boston. Yes, when I was there no lines were painted on the streets so if you had your bumper ahead of the person to either side of you had the right-of-way.

My favorite experience in driving in Boston was to drive by Quincy Market and head through the Callahan Tunnel to the Airport. There were 5 lanes converging into two lanes and during rush hour, it was like an hour-glass effect. All the cars were at a complete stop and inched (I mean inched) toward the two lane tunnel. The objective was to get your bumper just ahead of the person to your right and then you had for all practical purposes cut off that person from getting to the tunnel before you did.

I talk about the Bostonian driver because it is a composite of how I lived my life for so many years. My goal was to get the job done and it didn’t matter who I pushed out-of-the-way to carry out my task. I have worked hard to change this pattern in my life, and wanted this Thanksgiving to become a thanksformation. What I mean is that I wanted to have a transformed mind in looking at how I went about preparing for thanksgiving. Paul in Romans 12:1-2 talks about not being conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

In Boston, I drove like the Bostonian drove. I incorporated that mindset in everything that I did. The problem surfaces when you allow that mindset to invade your relationships. When task accomplishment becomes more important than relational connection, you lose and everybody around you loses. So I wanted a thanksformation Thanksgiving and asked God to transform my mind this holiday season. You see, I could do this on my own effort only for a short period of time and then I would begin to revert to my old Bostonian ways. What I wanted was a transformation in mind, a thanksformation spirit.

I purposefully chose to allow others to take a parking spot I was eyeing when I was at Fry’s Grocery Store to get groceries.  At Costco, I let those to the side of me or crossing in front of me with their carts go first and waited patiently.   I gave them a message of love and care along with a verbal message of “Happy Thanksgiving” as I passed them.  I sought to take time with those working in the store to wish them a blessed Thanksgiving day and sought to encourage them as they worked to serve me.

Today is only Wednesday, but I expect that on this journey, I will see God transform my attitude so that this Thanksgiving will be the best ever. In fact those of you reading this can do the same. It’s never too late to start. Happy thanksformation.

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About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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