Thanksgiving is coming to America in 12 days, and I hope that all of you here, and also those of you in other countries, might pause to consider all that you have to be thankful for. This year, I can add that I am thankful that the election is over to my typical list of blessings…
I’ve written it before, and I’ll do so again: Of all the big holidays in the year, Thanksgiving is my favorite. I think that this is because Thanksgiving remains more or less genuine, at least more than the other ones that have become so commercial and… well… is “phony” too strong a word…?
Maybe I can express it another way…
For me, Thanksgiving reminds me of a story I heard once about a couple who wanted to sell their home. The real estate agent asked them to make a list of the special features in their property so that she could incorporate their list into her advertising. They sat down and began to jot down their thoughts on the matter, and they came up with something like this:
“Our home has three bedrooms and two baths. The kitchen has the new granite counter tops that we’ve always dreamed about, and a new stove and double oven. It also has a built in trash compacter that makes it so easy to deal with the garbage… and oh yes, we have also just installed a new heavy duty garbage disposal in the sink.
“The living room has a beautiful brick fireplace that makes it so warm and inviting every year. It is really the focal point of the home in the cold months, and when the kids come over, we all gather around it and sing Christmas carols in December.
“The bedrooms are wonderful. In the master, we have put up new draperies, the kind my wife always dreamed about, and new closet organizers that make it so nice when we want to find something. The second bedroom has cowboy wallpaper; it’s a perfect boy’s room, and our son was so excited when we put it up, back when he was 8 years old. The other room is the perfect girl’s room, with all of the touches that our daughter loved so much.
“Of course there is the beautiful wood deck in the back yard, that we built together; it was quite the family project a couple of years back and we love sitting out there on balmy summer evenings, and on Sunday BBQ’s. On the side yard and the trees that we planted when each of our children were born; they are so big now, and they provide a great deal of shade in the summertime…”
The next evening, the real estate agent returned and asked them if they had made their list. The couple hesitated and looked at each other. Finally the husband turned to the real estate lady and said, “You know, it’s a funny thing. As we went through our home to make the list we both came to realize something.”
“Oh, what was that?” asked the real estate agent.
“This is the home we’ve always dreamed of; we couldn’t possibly sell it” replied the man as his wife smiled.
Yes, for me, Thanksgiving is just like that.
It is a perfect time to reflect on everything God has done for us, all of the ways He has blessed us and our families. It gives us the opportunity to take stock and to gain some perspective about the challenges we face, and about what is really and truly important.
We always seem to make a big fuss about the holiday, and sometimes we might lose our focus, thinking instead that Thanksgiving is all about getting ready for the big family doo… Will the table be perfect, will the turkey be just right, and will we remember all of the traditional dishes and so on. Yet none of that is really so important. What sets the day apart from all others in my view, is that it helps us to recognize our many blessings, give all of the praise, thanks and glory to God, and to cherish our relationships both with God and with those we love.
Yep, Thanksgiving is my favorite!