Turkey, football, stuffing, pecan pie, and sweet potato casserole. These are all things one can expect to see at a southern Thanksgiving table, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. That amazing time of year is again upon us! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a simple holiday where everyone comes together to share a meal (if you’re from the south, that meal is DELICIOUS – sorry northerners, use more sugar and butter.) Simple, right? Well… not really.
Thanksgiving, as a holiday, has been overshadowed by the likes of Christmas, and subsequently, Black Friday. So much so that before most of us have finished our Thanksgiving turkey, we have already planned our Christmas shopping.
But what should Thanksgiving be about?
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, enjoying time with family (yes, ENJOYING time with family – I understand this may be hard for some out there), and celebrating another year of life!
In America, we have a very skewed view of thankfulness. How often do we see a post on Facebook “I just bought a brand new (insert car name here)!!!! #blessed”? How about “Bought a new home!!! #blessed”? But how often do we see somebody post, “Just paid off my 6-year-old vehicle, now I can drive it for five more years and bless others!!! #blessed”? In America, we seem to celebrate consumerism – when people buy new stuff, the bigger the item – the bigger the celebration.
Related Post: 4 Insights from a Year of No Shopping
These are not blessings, and sometimes these are well outside of God’s plan for our lives. God does not ask us to be materialistic, put ourselves in huge debts, and to boast on social media. God tells us to be thankful for what we have, to live debt-free, and not to boast. That is what Thanksgiving is about: giving thanks for the blessings in our lives. Blessings including things like health, family, jobs, and southern cuisine.
As I sit here writing this blog, I am reflecting on my own life. I drive an 11-year-old truck with 90,000 miles on it – a truck which I was able to buy with cash, and which has been reliable for me. A truck which I have been able to use to help others, to transport myself to church, and to get to school so I can be educated and take steps towards the calling on my life. That is a blessing. The house I live in, with 3 roommates – that is a blessing. The friends I have in my life that I adventure with, laugh with, and cry with. That is a blessing. Those are things worth being thankful for.
I would encourage anyone that reads this blog to take this week not stressing about a meal. Instead, make time to reflect on life, reflect on the things God has done – things we see, and things we don’t see. It is easy to be caught up in the consumerist mindset we have here – if I have this car, this house, and this job – I will be happy.
Happiness does not come from objects that will someday fade to dust, it comes from contentment with life and being thankful for what we have.
Question from Stuart Luck, the author.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?