Sherlock Holmes and Thanksgiving

In an old issue of Leadership Journal, Chris T. Zwingelberg observed that though everyone is familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and his amazingly keen powers of observation, few of us are aware of Holmes’ belief that deduction and observation are even more necessary in faith and religion than they are in detective work.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Naval Treaty, Doyle pictures his famous sleuth studying a simple rose. Holmes’ famous sidekick Doctor Watson observes, “He walked past the couch to an open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any interest in natural objects.”

Doyle writes that Holmes leaned “against the shutters” and observed, “There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion.”

He continued, “Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”

I think the great sleuth has discovered something important. Think about it. (By the way, the root word from which “thanksgiving” comes is also the root for “think.” To really think is to be truly thankful.)

God has absolutely showered us with extras. With his brush he has painted a world dripping with color when, for most things, a few shades of gray would do.

Our Creator has populated our lives with wonderfully interesting people not even the most creative author could have envisioned.

He has given us the ability to enjoy an astonishing variety of tastes. Many of us will be doing our best during the upcoming holiday to check those out!

Thanksgiving, the holiday, is a wonderful time, and I pray it will be a time of sweet blessing for you and yours. But even when the holiday is in the rear view mirror, the “extras” from the hand of God will keep right on coming. That means that every day is a good day for gratitude.

 

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Copyright 2019 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


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