I asked my Pre-K bus riders what they were thankful for yesterday. I had a couple different replies. One said his pawpaw and the other two went with cake and cupcakes.
I thought to myself, at least one of them knew what I was talking about. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for the big stuff like family, a house, food on the table, and jobs.
I had laughed off the cake and cupcakes as genuine things to be thankful for.
However, after dropping all of my riders off I have about a 15 minute drive back to the school. I thought about why those two would even say cake and cupcakes.
I came to this profound and earth shattering conclusion: because they were truly thankful for cake and cupcakes.
Adults and youth make thanksgiving complicated. Thanksgiving means cooking for a whole day or two (maybe more) for one meal…and leftovers, cleaning the house for company, and gathering a plan of attack for the massive day of pandemonium that is Black Friday. It means sitting down and watching a couple of football games. Gail, my wife, recently asked her 2nd grade class to tell her about Thanksgiving. Their reply was all about the food: “There will be turkey, and family comes over, and sometimes ham.”
Thanksgiving has taken on the meaning of being too busy to be thankful.
A tradition that my wife and I both had in our homes growing up was right before or during the Thanksgiving meal, we would go around the table and say something we were thankful for. Growing up I thought everyone did this. As I have experienced the world, it surprises me to find that many have never even heard of doing such a thing. As we went around the table, I usually knew what I would say; something about family, a house, or food. I mean, I had to be thankful for the big stuff…the good stuff. I couldn’t let my sister outdo me and say something she was thankful for that trumped mine. (Yes, I realize now this was a bad attitude to have.)
I really would try and outdo others in my thankfulness. How dumb is that? How ungrateful is that?
Mathew 18:3 “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ESV
We are told to have childlike faith. A faith that believes the seemingly unbelievable. But what if this Thanksgiving, we had the thankfulness like a child? What if when we went around the table to say what we were thankful for, we did so out of a grateful heart, not a prideful or arrogant heart? What if we were thankful for the fact that we did not “earn” what we have but were given what we do not deserve?
2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” ESV
I am thankful for grace. A grace that covers me even when I am outdoing others in my thankfulness. A grace that covers all sin. A grace that came only through Jesus Christ.
If you do not go around the table, I encourage you to try a new tradition this year. Help keep the thankfulness in Thanksgiving.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”ESV