I must admit that I really like Thanksgiving. It is a great holiday. A time where we are encouraged to reflect on the past and present with a positive viewpoint. We are told to be thankful; told to look at all the great things our God has given us. The life and faith of Christians are strengthened when we spend more time reflecting on God’s blessings than our desires. Our modern fast-paced lives often leave us feeling like we are not blessed and the connections to our families strained. Thanksgiving allows us a chance to reset our chaotic lives back to a time when life was simpler. A time when life was meaningful and surrounded by those we cherish the most.
For most people, sometimes even Christians, Thanksgiving has become nothing more than another day to be selfish and self-centered. A day spent trying to get more of those things we don’t need. I am afraid that Thanksgiving is on the verge of losing all significance in our society and lives. Instead of being thankful, Thanksgiving Day has become another opportunity to be consumed with our desire for more, the desire to keep it all for ourselves, and the desire to avoid those people and situations that have the potential to challenge and change us.
We need to reclaim this wonderful holiday and that begins by focusing on our God, focusing on His blessings in our lives. It is a time when we should truly be thankful. So, in that spirit let me tell you what I am thankful for.
I am thankful for the food. I really enjoy the food and leftovers that last for days. There is just something about a turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving that just appeals to me. The food gives us an opportunity to reflect on just how we are. We are blessed so far above what we need that it often causes us to take for granted the Hand of God in our lives blessing us at every turn.
I am also thankful for family. This is perhaps my favorite thing about Thanksgiving. In a time when families are distant and disconnected from one another, I really enjoy getting to see my family. Every time we gather around a table covered with great food and surrounded by people we care about; we should fall to our knees and praise the God of heaven.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to overindulge on some things. We live during a time when American’s are characterized by their level of overindulgence. In stark contrast, the Christian life is to be one of balance and self-control. Yet, there are a few things we can overindulge and still be pleasing to our God. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and overindulgence; I am going to ask you to overindulge a few things a little more often.
I hope you spent far too much time overindulging in praise to God for his blessings. I hope that you spent far too much time overindulging in being thankful to Him. I hope you spent far too much time overindulging in time spent with your loved ones. I hope you spent far too much time overindulging in prayer, love, forgiveness, laughter, and sacrificial giving to others. If we will overindulge these consistently we will get back to the heart of what being Christian is all about.