26 November 2009


"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

I love Thanksgiving. I love what it represents. I love that it brings people together without the stress of buying gifts or scheduling each evening, both weeknights and weekends, with parties and dinners. This year, Thanksgiving has been more meaningful. I feel such gratitude for the people in my life.

As I drove to Athens this weekend to help at my mom's restaurant, I listened to talk radio. (I know, you can call me MaMaw, but I do enjoy talk radio. And I think it makes me smarter.) The commentator retold the story of the first Thanksgiving. I know that we learned the story in elementary school, followed by an art project to make Indian vests out of paper grocery bags, but I hadn't heard the story as an adult.

The first Thanksgiving was indeed celebrated by the Pilgrims, who arrived at Plymouth Rock via the Mayflower. Upon their landing at Berkeley Plantation, they gave thanks. They gave thanks even though they didn't know where they'd live, and they arrived as winter began. They gave thanks with little food. About a year later, Thanksgiving was celebrated again. After a year of bad crops and a dwindling settlement, they gave thanks.

I can't even imagine giving thanks in those circumstances. I mean, come on! They settled in an area of the country that's snowy, cold and rainy during the winter. They lived in shanty-type houses and didn't have running water or electricity. They had to kill their own food, grow their own crops and fetch their own water. They couldn't take hot showers; they had to go outside to use the bathroom. They had to make their own clothes. And they sailed for two months on a wooden ship! But still they gave thanks.

I wonder if I would have given thanks in those circumstances. It would have been so hard! And yet, I wonder why I'm not more thankful every day. These people knew what it meant to be thankful in all circumtances, and they did it.

As we move into a season that's filled with selfishness, even if not intentionally, I hope that I can retain an attitude of thankfulness. I hope that I can be spurred to be a blessing to others.

No comments :