There’s something so wonderfully restorative about Thanksgiving. Yes, in spite of trying to cook all the traditional favorites, cleaning up the house for company, creating an ambience that will encourage others to relax and enjoy the moment, it is a lovely time where we’re given the chance to think about being thankful. And no matter what our circumstances, what our financial situation, what our crises of the moment is, we can give thanks for so many things. Am I choosing to do that?
Or is this just the springboard into a mad holiday season of buying, requisite partying, gatherings out the wazoo that I show up for in body but often not in heart?
And don’t get me started on Black Friday. Really? An opportunity to wait so you can shop for things that might make you happy for a moment but will inevitably break down and need to be replaced, possibly by next Black Friday?
I’m not above any of this, really. I find that it’s quite easy to get caught up in the preparations for the meal, keeping an eye on football games that I typically don’t care a flying fig about and eating more than is humanly healthy. I did all that yesterday.
And yet, at the end of the day, I was feeling a bit remorseful about not taking the time to think about how much I have to be thankful for. How much we are blessed with because we live in a free albeit imperfect country. How many people greatly and positively impact my life daily. People I don’t often see or don’t even know, but who nonetheless make it possible for me to have a house with a roof that no longer leaks, running water that works when I turn on a faucet, a TV to watch the flying fig football games. I find I need to remind myself to have that attitude of gratitude because so much in life conspires to make me less than grateful.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18. There’s a reason God encourages us to be thankful. It makes living in a messy world doable, because it makes us focus on what we know to be true rather than what we’re experiencing in the moment. I need to remember that He is in the moment with me, and He will provide what I need to deal with whatever I need to deal with.
So Happy Day After, and Day After That. Take a moment to smile, to think about the wonderful things that are, not the things that are not. Give yourself the freedom to find the genuine things that make it worthwhile to get up each day, even if you feel burdened by loss and pain. Because even in that you had something for a time that was that valuable to you that you miss it.
Lest you think I’m pontificating, this is me talking to me. I desperately need this perspective overhaul. Daily.