Thanksgiving. Sometimes, the original meaning of the day gets lost in the activities that we plan. It doesn’t make us bad, or disrespectful. It just makes us human. Between the parades, the family and friends, the food and football games, we can too easily forget the most important thing — thankfulness. And that’s sad.
Even in the difficult years, we have reasons to be thankful. Someone, rest assured, has had a year worse than ours. We may not know these individuals personally, but they do exist. When we do know them, it often adds perspective to our own lives. We find ourselves appreciating what we have, instead of fretting about the things that elude us.
The spirit of Thanksgiving has a way of reminding us of what is truly important in our lives. It has the ability to humble us, if we let it. Teach us. This spirit opens hearts and eyes. It reminds us of who we are, as individuals as well as a nation. It can make us aspire to do more and give more. And that’s a good thing.
When the Plymouth colonists and Native Americans celebrated that first Thanksgiving, they weren’t showing-off a new smartphone or playing football. They were thankful to be alive. The voyage and winter had been harsh. Nearly 50% of all of the passengers on the Mayflower had perished. Adults were widowed. Children were orphaned. These individuals had fought disease as well as the elements, daily. They knew fear and grief. They had struggled, desperate to survive. But when the harvest came … it was plentiful. Friendships had been made. Trade had begun. Hope was overflowing. Despite obvious differences, both the colonists and the Native Americans shared a common thread — the belief in giving thanks. And they did.
On this Thanksgiving, no matter where you are or the company that you are in, take a moment to be thankful. Believe it or not, the turkey and dressing can wait. The cranberry sauce will not disappear. For a moment, reflect on 2018. Think of what you have. Be glad for these blessings. Thank the Lord for each and every one of them. Share your thoughts with others. This is what Thanksgiving is all about.
As you greet your loved ones, hug them a little tighter. Pick up the phone and call those who are far away. Fix a plate and take it to an ailing neighbor. Share. Smile. Laugh. Reminisce. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. But we do know, at this moment, what we have — all that we have. And it is a gift. Be thankful.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” — 1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV)
*Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash