This time of year in the US, it is a season of thanksgiving. More than 400 years ago, two distinct cultures here in North America, on the brink of profound and irrevocable change, gathered together to share an autumn feast, the event that has become a National memory we now call "Thanksgiving."
Thanksgiving is a time when families and friends come together, share a meal, give prayerful thanks, play together, and reflect on all the reasons we have to be grateful. One of the fond memories I have had over the last 20 years or so, is before we would share the Thanksgiving feast, my father in law would gather all the children and grand children together and we would go around the room and share what we were most thankful during the year. Invariably, the subject of our gratefulness would usually focus around God and family.
In our busy lives, it is so important to stop, not only for just one day of the year, but often to reflect on all that God has done for us. God is our sole source of provision. Recently, during a time of prayer, I was impressed to spend more of my time focusing on the names of God, that is, what is He to us. He is our redeemer, our provider, our healer, the One who goes before us, the One who is always with us, and so on. We serve a big and gracious God!
Recently, I read where someone had done a survey among the elderly. One of the questions that was asked was, "What would you spend more time in life doing if you could go back in time?" A common answer was that they would spend more time in reflecting on the past. I guess that's why when we gather as a family, one of the things we most often do is share stories and talk about the "good, ole times."
I am challenged to be more deliberate, more often in taking time to be appreciative for all the things in my life, whether large or small, learning to be more content. The apostle Paul said in Philippians, that he learned the secret of living in every situation was contentment and gratefulness, whether he had a lot or a little. May we all come to that state of mind!
Happy Thanksgiving (all year 'round)!
Photo Credit: Jean Leon Gerome Ferris [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.