Halloween is over, but it hasn’t been a full forty-eight hours since I had trick-or-treaters. I have barely taken the jack o’lanterns off of my front porch. I haven’t even fully looted all of the Snickers and Almond Joy bars out of my son’s candy stash, but a quick visit to the mall tells me it’s time for Christmas. Target has already begun teasing about free shipping and Wal-Mart, not to be outdone, is giving free shipping and special deals already. It’s only November the 3rd.
Don’t get me wrong. I love free shipping and I know in my heart of hearts that the retailers are really nailing us on shipping and handling. I also love a good deal and I like to shop early. But, speeding onto Christmas in our minds is skipping a very important and vital to our hearts, holiday. That holiday is Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is uniquely American. We are the only country who celebrates it. We have seen fit as a country, to set aside a day to remember how the Pilgrims and Native Americans came together after surviving a horrible winter. To honor their blessings, they sat together and broke bread and gave thanks. (To God by the way, the Pilgrims were religious people who wanted the opportunity to worship undisturbed by the government.)
It has become a holiday when we gather together with friends and relatives to give thanks for all of the abundance we have as individuals as well as a nation. We have much to be thankful for. As dire as our economy has been and as dark as the world seems, we are still incredibly blessed. We are one of the wealthiest nations around and one of the freest. We have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. Our children are all entitled to an education. Our women are free to pursue whatever interests they desire. We are free to worship as we please.
I could go on about our many blessings. We definitely have work to do, but no one can deny that we have been blessed beyond measure. One of the scariest viral outbreaks in the world is ravaging Africa and so far, the medical care available here has been able to save all, but one life. And we have many volunteers willing to go and fight that outbreak, putting their own lives at risk, an example of the blessed being a blessing.
We have almost a month until Thanksgiving Day. I would like to challenge you to take the next few weeks to join me and intentionally jot down one blessing a day that you have to be thankful for. Keep a list for yourself to look back on. Then, let’s start praying for ways that we can be a blessing to others this Thanksgiving season. Start thinking about friends and neighbors who may be alone or struggling this year for the holiday. Maybe they have lost a loved one or can’t get home. Maybe they have recently divorced or lost their job.
If you have had a year blessed with abundance, then pray about sharing with someone who hasn’t. If you have been someone who has had a rough year then consider taking the hand that has reached out to you. That hand may have been inspired by God.
Let’s take the next twenty-five days and count our blessings and be a blessing to others. Let’s celebrate this season with thankfulness, whether the retailers do or not.
Have an awesome day!