Thanksgiving. A time of thanks. A day of thanks. But why? Why must we restrict our outward display of thankfulness to one day? Are we so unthankful, that we need set aside a day to behave contrarily? I propose radical alteration of this behavior! Thankfulness is not something to fear. It’s something to embrace. Something to use to lift our spirits. Our God has blessed us with life, so that we can praise and thank him. Will we fulfill our purpose?
I know I shouldn’t be the one to say these things. I work a job that wears me to the bone. I hate it and I complain about it every day to my family. I’m one of the significant population of this beautiful, backwards planet that complains as if it were my passion. The Israelites of the Old Testament had nothin’ on me, dawg! And while I’m throwing my stupendous pity party for myself – a dart of realization pierces my soul. Idiot. Fool. Selfish worm. Have you nothing better to do than wallow in your own poor outlook? Seriously, dude! Wake up! I reach in. I rise up. What am I doing? What a fool I’ve been. Feeling sorry for myself, whining like a spoiled child. My God, my savior has been so good to me. And yet I can only see the bad. Am I so blind? Are my eyes so focused to see the blatant in front of me, that I’m oblivious to the greater beyond? I really do have so much to be thankful for. And yet, after thanking the Lord today, will I not complain to him tomorrow? Will next week be chock-full of my whining and whimpering about how bad I have it? Tell yourself no, now. And if – when – you do complain… Bite your tongue and praise the Lord instead. Wake up to the blessings that surround you. Stop wallowing in pity for yourself, and look the bigger picture in the eyes.
So I write a short list of what I’m thankful of, because it’s a cliché way of proclaiming my thankfulness to others.
Salvation. Father God, I praise Thee for sending Thy Son. I am not worthy of preservation, nonetheless you lift me from the waves and set me on dry ground. Praise be to almighty God, halleluiah!
Friends. The many faces that come to mind. The many hearts that have broken mine. I love you all. Each of you. For you often give me the encouragement I need. The love I don’t deserve.
My job. I’m employed. And that’s a blessing in and of itself. Sure, it’s not my favorite thing to do. And driving in to work at two in the morning is a hell of sorts. But I can be thankful that the bills are being paid and I’m being taught good character. (And my coworkers are great at teaching me what bad character looks like. Thanks so much, guys!)
This lovely, beautiful, four-day holiday weekend. I’m sure some folk don’t get that and I’m thankful for it, because it’s just what I needed.
Words. Because writing would be impossible without them. And I love them so much.
Music. Be it praises to be sung to our God on High, or the Dubstep mixes I’m listening to right now, I am thankful for the beats and chords of music. It is a wonderful, beautiful gift.
Time. Time to think. Time to live. Time that ticks so constantly away from us. It cannot be grasped by the hand, it cannot be caught up. So often we chase after it. But we waste it in doing so. I live in time, thankful for what I have and what I have experienced.
That hurricanes don’t attack me and my family. My heart has often been burdened by the victims on the east coast. You guys are in my prayers. You’ve lived through things I couldn’t imagine. Keep up courage.
So much more could I write. And if I sit here and allow myself, I could go on and on. Instead, I need to get up and apply this thankfulness. I need to praise my God for what He has done in my life, the truths he is so constantly showing me. Because that is what matters. What makes this day special. Not talking about thankfulness – but being thankful in the truest form.
At the beginning of this post I asked why Thanksgiving is our only day of thanks. Why we live ungrateful lives all of the year, to talk about being thankful on this one day. Perhaps it is not a day to be thankful – but a reminder to be thankful all year ‘round. To remind us of our purpose, so that we can better fulfill it. I like that idea. I really do. I’ll do my best to live a life of praise – for my God is worthy of all praise and worship. Thank you, my Lord.
Oh – and have a Happy Thanksgiving!