Giving thanks when it makes no sense makes no sense. Actually, it does.
Scripture tells us to give thanks in every circumstance. Even in the rough and raw places that get scarred by too much life. I ask a wounded friend what she’s thankful for. And so she says the usual, “husband, kids, roof over my head.” What if the husband left, the kids wandered, and the roof caved in – then what?
And what if God stayed right where He’s always been – right there in the sovereign spot where He has control over it all? That fills in my gratitude blank.
We can’t change the world. We can only be contented in our own. It’s oh-so-easy to get swept into the current of the culture and lose sight of the meaning of Thanksgiving. The true meaning – for families to gather and remember God’s goodness.
But often instead of giving thanks for what we have, we’re busy waiting at the retailer’s door to find something anything we still need. And before the pumpkin pie is digested and the table is cleared, we’re lining up for a Black Friday greeding frenzy.
Somehow our traditional holiday has been hijacked by relentless commercialism and busyness.
It doesn’t seem so long ago when our children were sitting around an overcrowded table in our farmhouse taking turns reciting “I’m thankful for . . . “ Home and hearth, and cider warming on an old woodstove added to the charm of what appeared to be a Walton’s rerun.
But time passed and most of those who were at the table with us are no longer occupying a chair due to loss or separation. And so I learned to cherish the moment and exchange perfect for good enough when I’m tempted to let preparation get in the way.
And isn’t it hard to do with all the to-do?
Overdrive and stress collides with choosing the necessary – the sacred place – and we settle for crumbs and expect the Lord to as well.
And there’s no time for thanks at Thanksgiving.
In the familiar (Luke 10) story of Mary and Martha, we learn how to find the importance of being rather than doing. Martha is busy being busy and Mary is busy being still. It’s a good lesson to see how even the necessary can push priorities to the back of the day.
Martha chose preparation over visiting and Mary chose spending time with Jesus over preparation – I’m thinking there’s a little of both in each of us. So, may we redirect our fussing to focusing on the good portion as we serve our families well, like Martha, and seek the presence of the Lord, like Mary.
Then we’ll be able to say together, first I’m thankful that I’m thankful.