hah. Sooo. I felt like I need a post that suited my mood… So I started with that nice picture in honor of Thanksgiving… and am going to leave you with a point or two to ponder over the next few days as Thanksgiving approaches.
I have been thinking about this holiday quite a bit as my family has been deciding where to spend it… We finally figured out that we will be playing in the snow in Mammoth which sounds like a blast to me. It doesn’t really matter where Thanksgiving is spent, as long as you are with family, right? That thought snowballed for me. What makes Thanksgiving what it is? Home? Family? Turkey? Pumpkins? The “holiday” feel? Tradition?… What happens if the last Thursday in November comes without any of those things? Will it cease to be a day of thanksgiving? It shouldn’t. In fact, everyday should be a day of thanksgiving. 1 Thes 5:16-18 says,
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Be thankful in all circumstances. All of them. In all of them, not despite circumstances. I know that for me, when I am trying to be thankful I think about all of the obvious “blessings” in my life, and thank God for those. But that is neglecting the rest of the circumstances in my life that I am still called to be thankful for, and in the midst of.
With that in mind, I was reminded of one of our main family traditions at Thanksgiving. We go around the table and each person says what they are thankful for. It can be a pretty heavy time and usually at least one person cries 🙂 This year, in addition to the obvious blessings in my life (and there are many), I am challenging myself to consider the blessings that may not seem like blessings at first glance. For instance… actually–I am going to wait until after the weekend to post these… it will spoil it for the dinner table. But, an example from the past: Track. Hard seasons, hard years, hard on the body, hard relationships. God used it all. I could talk for days about how God used the difficulties of track, both emotional and physical, to drive home some serious spiritual disciplines that are now ingrained, and part of the driving force behind where I go next. Try, try really hard, to find the things in your life that you don’t really think you are thankful for. Gas prices: When they skyrocketed, people used their feet and bikes to get around more, slowing down the pace of life and breathing some fresh air. The economy: Consumer America is rethinking priorities…
The last part of that verse I am trying to glean a large amount of comfort from in a time where I am really seeking His will for my life. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” His will is that I am thankful, everyday.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have a day with family, tradition, pumpkins, the “holiday” feel, and love… but the thankfulness aspect should not be different than any other day. That is the will of God.
I cling to what is simple these days.
Lastly, the other thing that I have been trying to wrap my mind around is Thanksgiving in America… and why we even celebrate it. Who are you thanking? As people, we have this sense that we owe gratitude to someone or something… because we know that the things that are truly amazing in our life, are way above us. So many people celebrate this amazing holiday and have no where to direct their thankfulness for their family, friends, love… it is just a thought that is thrown in the air, and I see that as tragic. Know who you are thanking people!!
“…Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.” 1 Tim 6:17