The turkey bakes dark and hot in it’s hidey-hole. No aroma of burnt offerings waft from the kitchen, only mouth-watering promises. So all is well…for now. I’m a second, maybe third generation burner, so I’m not out of the woods yet. Can you say, “Easily distracted?” However, The Preacher reigns large and in charge of the kitchen so the outcome remains promising.
We hustle and bustle and stress and stuff down anxiety firm. But as we spin like a whirling dervish, do we lose sight of reality? Do we forget the two words that make up this holiday celebration?
Do we think our life is just not that hot?
That the myth of contented living spins deep from within a fable, created by wish-on-a-star optimists?
In the frenzy of unrealistic expectations, we can view Thanksgiving through the distorted lens of Hollywood. The holidays according to scriptwriters are a time of family strife and tension, fodder for comedic drama. Yet in a final melodramatic showdown, reconciliation heals all wounds. If only…
No theatrical embellishments needed for the first Thanksgivers. By the time the Pilgrims sighted land, they had fallen ill, all were infested with lice, and reduced to eating hard-as-rock biscuits full of weevils with a chaser of rancid water. Can. You. Even.?!
Yet, thankfulness flowed from their parched lips. William Bradford says, “Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees, and blessed the God of heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof…”
Do we stop long enough in the peeling of our potato mountains, and basting of the bird, to be truly thankful? Do we ever think of the irony of our Thanksgiving in snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug homes, versus the fragile day to day existence of these pioneers?
“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” – H.U. Westermayer
We have so much, yet we forget to be thankful in our abundance.
They had so little, but thankfulness oozed from every pore.
In 1621 after a bountiful harvest, Governor Bradford declared a three-day-long Thanksgiving celebration to thank God for his goodness. The local Indians had befriended the struggling pilgrims and without their help, few would have lived.
The fifty surviving Pilgrims invited Chief Massasoit and told him to “bring a few friends.” He brought ninety of his closest friends. (The Pilgrims come to the New World,” Daily encouragement.net)
Want to see a real-live miracle in this day and time?
One that is as undeniable as the stars in the ebony sky?
Develop a thankful posture. It will forever change the who you are. Gratefulness changes our heart from the inside. Gratitude scrapes away the callouses to reveal soft pink tissue long hidden away. It is impossible for bitterness, and grumbling to reside in our hearts alongside thankfulness.
It makes forgiveness possible.
It makes grace a reality.
So make your choice:
- Be Thankful or Thoughtless– “Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful.” —Colossians 3:15
2. Be Prayerful or Pitiful– “Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.” —Colossians 4:2
3. Be full of Praise or Protest– “He who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me;…” – Psalm 50:23
Paul shared the secret to being thankful, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
As our lists whirr in our jumbled heads and the grocery lines lengthen and tempers flare ugly,
Make a conscious effort to step back and exhale the holiday stress.
Breathe deep the air of gratitude.
Write down the blessings.
And give thanks with a grateful heart,
A contented mind,
And forgiving soul.