I’m not too crazy about fruitcake, either.
By Patrick G Howard
Tis the season.
You know what I mean. The Halloween candy has all been eaten. (How did that happen so quickly?) That first little bit of cold air has descended on Houston. (And it didn’t come from your air conditioner.) Pumpkin spice is in the air. (Do we have to pumpkin spice our coffee?) The person you voted for lost, and your weird brother’s guy won. You wonder how your favorite team will win enough games to become bowl eligible. All these things can mean only one thing.
It’s time for Thanksgiving!
That’s right. Thanksgiving is that day when it’s OK to stuff yourself senseless, so you can take a two-hour nap in front of the TV while the Cowboys lose. That day when you get to listen to your crazy brother tell you why the country is going to be so much better because his guy won the election. That day when you re-discover why you despise pumpkin spice anything.
Thanksgiving and its associated traditions are uniquely American. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we take so much for granted. Before we dive head first into our Thanksgiving routine, let’s take a moment to focus on the words of King David.
1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.
We serve an amazing God. Not only has He given us the gift of eternal salvation, but he provides for all our mortal needs as well. When we say the Lord’s prayer, we ask Him to provide for our needs (our daily bread); and He is always faithful in providing for us.
If you don’t believe me, let me ask. Did you wake up this morning? Did you sleep in a bed under a roof last night? When was the last time you went hungry? Do you have clothes in your closet? Do you have people in your life that love you?
We are truly rich with God’s blessings, but it’s never enough. Think about the answers to your questions above. (If you’re like me, your answers may be something like this.)
- Did you wake up this morning? Yes, but it was too early.
- Did you sleep in a bed under a roof last night? Yes, but my mattress isn’t very comfortable.
- When was the last time you went hungry? Never, but I would like to eat at Steamboat House instead of McDonalds.
- Do you have clothes in your closet? Yes, but some of them don’t fit me anymore.
- Do you have people in your life that love you? Yes, but my brother never votes for the right guy.
God has given us everything we need, and most of what we want, but it still isn’t enough. Why do we complain? Why can’t we just be thankful for the blessings that God gives us? Why can’t we accept that God has a plan for us and be thankful that He will faithfully provide for all our needs? Why do we complain that we hate brussel sprouts, when there are many who will be hungry tonight?
I have heard this said many ways, but this is my favorite:
Being happy doesn’t mean you have it all; it simply means you are thankful for all you have.
My challenge to you this month is to make this your mindset. Whenever you start to complain about something, turn it around and find a reason to be thankful for it instead.
Instead of complaining about getting up too early, be thankful that you were healthy enough to wake up.
Instead of complaining about your lumpy mattress, be thankful that you slept in your own home last night.
Instead of complaining that your brother voted for the wrong guy, be thankful that you live in a country where you are allowed to vote for the wrong guy.
Instead of complaining about eating at McDonalds, be thankful that Whataburger is just down the street.
Instead of turning your nose up at the bowl of brussel sprouts in the middle of your Thanksgiving buffet, move over and grab some mashed potatoes instead. Let those brussel sprouts be a blessing for your weird brother. Then be thankful that you have so much food available to you that you can stuff yourself senseless and take a two-hour nap in front of the TV while the Cowboys lose. There are a lot of people who can’t.
This Thanksgiving, focus on the words of King David and give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!