Please take a few minutes before you continue to read to listen to this song by Mercy Me.
We would all like to believe that when things in life get tough that our convictions will stand strong. Well, things are tough right now. I’m waiting for the locust and frogs to show up (a little comic relief). At this point, there is so much out of my control, things I can’t just fix, that all I have to lean on is my faith. My husband and I hold on to each other and our belief in a God who is bigger than all our worries or concerns.
Are we perfect in remaining constant in our faith during the storm? No. On any given day or hour, there is an internal struggle between ego, self, and selflessness. This time in our lives is just as much about how we walk the journey in faith, and what we learn in the process, as it is about just getting to the other side.
We believe that every season, good or bad, is the opportunity to learn a little more about ourselves, grow personally and spiritually, and eventually be ready to encourage someone else in their journey.
On one level, going into the Thanksgiving holiday we have much we could wallow and moan about. But on more important levels we have much more to be thankful for. We have what we need, and those we care about are healthy and safe. Those are the things we will focus on tomorrow and each day after.
Be encouraged today, and reminded for tomorrow as you are enjoying time with family and friends (or being driven crazy by them), that there is always far more to be thankful for than to complain about. Stand firm in your beliefs even if things are not going as you planned.
I went to the grocery Tuesday (yes, two days before Thanksgiving). My primary purpose was to pick up the fresh turkey we had ordered. Admittedly, there were a few other items, but nothing major. As I walked in there were people exiting with heaping cart loads of groceries. The store was abuzz with shoppers. There was a hustling energy much like gift shopping on Christmas Eve. It made me wonder if Thanksgiving was a surprise to these shoppers much like Christmas is to those who shop the day before. Or instead of shopping early, they chose to just wait and risk the possibility that the cranberry sauce in a can might be sold out or the pumpkin spice might be gone. Just wondering.
Truly friends we have much to be thankful for in this life. We are rich in friends, family and opportunity. There probably will not be any shortage in the grocery you find yourself in tonight at 10 p.m. (there is always that one key ingredient that was forgotten).
It’s the most wonderful time of the year [the song is in your head now, isn’t it]. The mindset most people have around Thanksgiving and Christmas is something we should embrace all year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see people focused on being thankful, giving to those in need and spending time with family. These are activities that we need to put in play throughout the year.
How much different would your day be if you started, perhaps on your way to work, thinking about all the good in your life? You may come up with one thing or 20. Either way, thinking on such positive meaningful aspects of our life can only do one thing, warm our hearts and lift our spirits. I’m not suggesting the Pollyanna approach, you may have a delightful ride into work and get there only to find the same personnel issues, budgetary problems, or deadlines not being met. This state of mind isn’t meant to have us living in la-la land. It’s merely a manner by which we will approach our day and all that it holds both positive and negative.
What if those who post daily thankful messages in November do it in May (half way between)?
What if we worried as much about the homeless and hungry when they can’t escape the heat as when they can’t escape the cold?
How would this new mindset change ourselves? Our world?
It has been a long-standing tradition in families across America that on Thanksgiving Thursday after over-stuffing on the turkey and fixings the football fans retire to take their naps in front of a bowl game. Meanwhile the shoppers in the family spread the newspaper ads out on the table and create their strategy for black Friday shopping.
In recent years the internet entered the scene as the shoppers made their plans for black Friday referencing the difference in pricing online and those in the stores. When there is less than a month and a list of gifts, all resources must be utilized. But that is where the line should be drawn.
Last week several retailers announced that their black Friday deals would begin at 10 p.m. the night before. The night before…that would be Thanksgiving night; grant it, shopping for Christmas can sometimes be hard to complete when it’s an important time to go to parties with friends and take the spiritual journey of the season, but is it necessary to squeeze out Thanksgiving Day?
Is it not worth a full 24 hours of life to slow down long enough to be thankful, stuff ourselves and enjoy time with family? Now those 24 hours are being encroached on by retailers trying to create frenzy, and have their day in the media.
The family tradition at the beginning of the piece many times ends with family playing cards or watching a movie together, not charging the door of Wal-Mart to save little, and stand in line all night. Where are our priorities? Are they on the people we are shopping for and the important times we spend with them? Retailers would have you believe that to show your love to that special someone, you absolutely MUST leave them at the Thanksgiving table, and go buy them stuff.
If we are not careful, Thanksgiving Thursday is going to become, Gray Thursday – another historical holiday lost in commercialism.