THANKSGIVING OR JUST ANOTHER TURKEY DAY?
Once upon a time, Thanksgiving Day was really celebrated for what it means – a day to give thanks. In our modern, electro-mechanical age, we have become so spoiled that we do not really know how to be thankful.
In our history, we experienced at least three times when thanksgiving really had meaning. The first was when the Plymouth settlers gave thanks for living through two times of difficult suffering – surviving the Mayflower crossing and the brutal first year on the new continent. Those that survived truly knew what it meant to be thankful.
The second was when our nation celebrated the end of a brutal civil war that had torn our nation apart. Lincoln had thought that a day of thanksgiving was an appropriate way to celebrate.
The last was when President Roosevelt felt it appropriate to designate a day of thanksgiving for our nation because of the lean years of depression during the 1930s.
All of the above came after periods of extreme difficulty and suffering. The true question becomes can we really be thankful if we have not suffered the extremes of adversity? Without suffering, we may truly have difficulty in understanding why we need to give thanks. It also raises the specter of what we may experience in the future.
As Wikipedia defines it, “Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks (traditionally to God) at the close of the harvest season.” If we have become so complacent that we no longer give thanks to God, will he allow us to experience extreme suffering to get our eyes and minds back on him? Perhaps we should give that some thought this Thanksgiving Day.
The apostle Paul shows us the right idea when he wrote to the Corinthians. “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Cor 9:10, 11)
What God gives to us should result in our generosity to others and sharing the bounty of our blessings. Perhaps the obesity which is rampant in our present society is a sign or symptom of a serious malady. Have we become so gluttonous in our wealth as a nation that we no longer have generous thoughts of sharing with others or thanking God for how he has blessed us?
When the hoarding of riches becomes the focus of a society, those who have nothing and have nothing to lose become fixated upon gaining what they do not have. It sows the seeds of dissatisfaction and unrest. This can bring the suffering like that experienced by those who were aboard the Mayflower.
Turkey Day should not be a day to gorge yourself but to be thankful for the plenty that we enjoy and that has come as a blessing from God. Unthankfulness brings its own undesirable rewards. Thank God for the blessings we have and the riches we enjoy. Remember to share with those less fortunate.
Only turkey’s don’t give thanks or share with others. Don’t be a turkey.
JR McElfresh, Author of SpiritQuest: Our War With Choices and coming soon, SpiritQuest 2: Interface with Creation.
Definition: Interface Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks (tranditionally to God) at the close of the harvest season. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thurday of November.