You’ve heard of #100HappyDays? Well, I stole the idea and adapted to fit my blogging schedule.
Every day is filled with reasons to be thankful. And yet the majority of my day isn’t spent being thankful. That’s got to change. God sent his son to save me - HUGE reason to always be thankful. And I’ve been freed to live a new life through Christ, released from fear, doubt, shame and self-reliance, equipped with love to serve others and blessed with all kinds of daily tasks and jobs to express my love. And that’s just the big stuff.
This is #100ThankfulWeeks to praise Him. I’m sharing one simple thing I’m thankful for each week. Because there can never be to much thankfulness.
Week 26: Thanksgiving
I’m thankful for a designated day for thankfulness. Because thankfulness is contagious. And because it’s easily squeezed out of life by worry and doubt and fear and anxiety. Yet with this holiday, maybe one day a year, for an hour over the dinner table, there’s a chance that for a moment thankfulness wins out over all the competing distractions. Where thankfulness is greater than the moistness of the turkey or the smoothness of the mashed potatoes or the pile of dishes waiting in the kitchen. Greater than an accounting of possessions or being the first in line for the Black Friday super-deal.
Thanksgiving may have started with puritan Pilgrims giving thanks for survival in a new world alongside native peoples yet to be slaughtered. It may have started with a celebration of religious and political freedom. There may have been turkey, pumpkin, potatoes and corn. But certainly there was thankfulness. No matter how brief that moment and no matter what atrocities followed, the story of the first Thanksgiving is evidence of something even greater than thankfulness being present. Something powerful enough to overcome fear, distrust, hatred, greed, arrogance, contempt and color. Something so powerful it could unite disparate peoples at one meal and produce joy and thankfulness. For a moment in history, love triumphed. And centuries later, we’re still celebrating the story of love’s triumph.
It’s love I’m thankful for and it’s love that overcomes and produces the kind of thankfulness that isn't focused on possessions and tallying accumulation. The kind of thankfulness that can’t wait to give, can’t stop sharing and eagerly looks for ways to help. Love even produces thankfulness in pain, suffering, weakness and hardship because love can always see the new and even greater opportunities to depend on and share love. Thankfulness like that can’t be contained, restrained, smothered or diminished.
And yet anyone who knows history also knows the first Thanksgiving was not a pattern of what was to come. Greed, hatred and violence ruthlessly wiped out the indigenous peoples - not love. Manipulation, deceit, oppression and manifest-destiny rhetoric savagely seized land, drew boarders, established reservations, dictated treaties and smothered dissent - not love. The cooperation, compassion, kindness, unity, joy, thankfulness and shared giving celebrated in the first Thanksgiving is what comes from love. And when even the tiniest spark of love is present, contagious thankfulness has a chance to thrive. It has a chance to shine more brilliantly than all the rattling sabers, polished muskets, shiny gold nuggets, iron smelting furnaces, black oil geysers or glittering Black Friday deals.
Thank you for Thanksgiving, God. When I’m distracted by achieving the perfect turkey, the ultimate pumpkin pie or the perfect family celebration, refocus me on your love to produce what this day really celebrates: cooperation, compassion, kindness, unity, joy, thankfulness and shared giving. And when Thanksgiving is over, fan love and thankfulness within me to overcome greed, hatred, arrogance, contempt, deceit, manipulation and violence.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. This is a food blog, so what are you serving up this holiday?