I had someone tell me yesterday that the word of the year is ‘pivot’ due to all the changes we have to accommodate. This is even more evident as we head into Thanksgiving. I hear the lament of so many, and I am with you. Thanksgiving is not as it should be. People should not gather together – something that this holiday is built upon. It is not safe to sit around the table – the basic premise of it all. It seems out of sorts, even uncomfortable. One approach is to buck the entire system and do it anyway. The problem is that people’s lives could be at stake – for a meal. This hardly seems logical, even for Thanksgiving feasts. Another option is to scale it down and cover it up. Have fewer people over and wear masks as much as possible. Or we could simply eat at home with the people we see all the time. I must say none of these options are particularly appealing. They are frustrating. Plans change and we don’t like it.
We could sit around ticked off all day today, tomorrow, and for a while. We could complain on social media about how mad we are. We could take out our frustrations on the leaders that are trying to keep us safe. We could kick, scream and throw a tantrum (I see some of y’all do that on social media – it’s ugly). OR…and get this…we could simply GIVE THANKS. I know, it may sound corny. But is the food all there is to this holiday? Is the fellowship all this holiday is really about? Maybe this year is a reprieve where we can reconsider what it really means to give thanks. Maybe this year we roll with the punches and come out stronger, more appreciative for the time we have been given. Maybe, we simply live grateful.
Living grateful is not as simple as it seems. Too often, we are driven by greed or selfishness. We live in a constant state of want. Even when we try to think of others, we are met with comparison and envy. To live grateful means we simply look at all we have been given and find a point of contentment. Wherever we are and whatever we have, to be content. When we reach a point of contentment, we begin to find we can give. We can serve. We can help others. We can give thanks. We don’t need any more than what we have. We likely don’t even need all we have. When we live grateful, our perspective begins to shift to helping others rather than taking something for ourselves. We begin to be thankful for the simplest but most precious gifts in our lives. And in turn, we give.
Rather than complain, may we give thanks. Instead of whining, may we see all we have. Instead of yelling at others, may we express thanksgiving. May we give rather than take. May we love rather than hate. May we find contentment and share with others. And my we have an outstanding Thanksgiving – living grateful.
11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery