The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
A family sat down to Thanksgiving dinner. The eight-year-old son asked if he could say “the blessing.” Everyone bowed their heads.
He began, “I’m thankful for Mom who cooked the turkey, for father who bought the turkey, for the people at the store where we bought it. I’m thankful for the people on the farm who raised the turkey and for the trucks that carried the turkey to our store.” He paused and said, “Did I leave anybody out?”
His 5-year-old brother, impatient to eat, said, “You left out God!” The eight-year-old replied, “I was about to get to Him!”
I know it’s usually an innocent euphemism and a fun way for people to refer to Thanksgiving Day as “Turkey Day.” But I’m afraid we have a tendency, as with many other holidays, to forget the real meaning. We often see holidays simply as “another day off” or a day for shopping or perhaps for other frivolity like sports. It can even be celebrated by drinking too much alcohol or consuming too much food.
The Pilgrims began the concept of having a celebration banquet to thank God for the bountiful harvest they had received. While generous portions of food made it to the table, I suspect that few consumed as much as modern Americans do in the 21st century.
Many of us have developed some traditions around Thanksgiving Day. Some of these revolve around an oblong air packed piece of cowhide that is sometimes misnamed a pigskin along with as big of a flat screen tv as we can afford. A lot of families have developed a tradition of getting as many of their family members around a table as they can pack in. And don’t forget “the kids table.” Sometimes these are people who never see each other any other time of the year. For some reason, that tradition can involve discussions that can devolve into arguments resulting in some annual dread concerning the occasion.
Like the 8-year-old boy in our story, we can get so much on our Thanksgiving plate that we forget to be thankful for the most important part of our lives. We forget to thank God! He is the reason we have any of the things we have included in our celebration. And, he has given us more blessings than we can count.
How can we possibly leave him out?
I hope that this Thanksgiving you and I can keep the priority of thanking God first in our lives. It would be even better if we could remember to thank him every day, many times a day, and not wait for someone to declare a holiday.
I hope this will be more to all of us that just some “Turkey Day!”
This Sunday we will conclude our mini-series of messages titled Thank You, Lord! Seasons of Thanksgiving with a message that asks the riveting question Are You the One? It will be based on Luke 17:11-17. Join us in this Pre-Thanksgiving time of giving thanks.