Thursday, November 17, 2011

Putting Things into Perspective: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week.

I'm looking forward to more of a relaxed week at work even if it means adding one more worship service into the schedule.  My kids have the entire week off from school.  My wife will take them to spend a couple of days with Grandma and Grandpa while I batch it for a couple of days.  Then, they will return for Thanksgiving Eve service, and then we'll head to Nona and Grumpy's for Thanksgiving day.

It's a shame that we have to set aside one day to remember to give thanks.  Thankfulness is actually a quality to be cultivated and practiced on a daily basis by those of us who are Christian.  St. Paul says so.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. --Philippians 4:6

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. --Colossians 3:17

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. --1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Unfortunately, most of the time our attitudes do not reflect this air of thanksgiving.  Most of the time, we complain.  About the weather (God, will you finally send us some rain?), about the gap between rich and poor (It's not fair that they have so much!), about politics (Vote those turkeys out of office!), about the busy-ness in our lives (I have so much to do and not enough time to do it!)  BTW: The word "no" is in the English language for a reason.  About people not having respect, taking responsibity, parenting correctly, abusing freedom, or what have you.  About us destoying the planet.  Need I go on?

Now, don't get me wrong.  I know each and every one of us has a burden to bear.  Some are heavier than others.  We need some time to let things out, and we need help from time to time.  But, come on, folks!  The majority of folks who read this blog, myself included, have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and more stuff than we actually need.  Why do we spend an incessant amount of time complaining about things?

I got my reminder of this from a high school friend on Facebook.  She posted the following (reprinted with permission):

I guess it that time of the month that we r thankful for: I am thankful that I survived the Khmer Rouge kill spree. I am thankful for that I am still alive for being in the Vietnam War. I am thankful that my refreigerator is full of foods (I remember when I was a child during the war I would sit I cry cause until I fall asleep cause there were not food to eat...) I am thankful for our sponsor Sister Teresa Catholic Organization for bring our family here the land of opportunity (USA). I am thankful that I got my educations from Odem School (1-12 grades I couldn't even speak one word of English) ....

I hope it puts things into perspective for you as well.  Thanks Vimean for really giving me a perspective this Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

Brian G said...

Thanks you for this. Really hits home right now.