Thanksgiving. To the destruction and detriment of those who live there, it will perish in an environment within which a sense of entitlement and greed rules the day. Conversely, on the opposite end of that spectrum, a sense of thanksgiving will thrive and it will breathe life into any place where a heart of appreciation and gratitude refuses to give way to a brooding sense of entitlement, the scourge of greed, or any other lesser attitudes that keep company with such things.
But in whatever place we might find ourselves on this spectrum, we must understand that the remarkable power of Thanksgiving will live undiminished regardless of where we fall, simply because our determined adherence to it, or our blatant rejection of it cannot touch or in any way diminish something spun of things eternal.
Thanksgiving Verses the Culture
But be warned, that if we have fallen in with the culture and have subsequently fallen in the wrong place, and if we have taken up residence there, we will be robbed of the riches that Thanksgiving has to give us. A sense of thankfulness will not chase us. It will not beg us to drink of it. It will not plead with us that we allow it to lean down and raise us up out of the grave of greed within which we have so effectively interred ourselves. It will hold itself out to us as an attitude that will handily break all lesser things if we let it. It will invite us to freedom unimagined, but it will not stoop to any attempts to persuade us to seize that invitation, for that only serves to cheapen the invitation.
In this world of ours, we are surrounded by everything that would serve to crush a sense of thanksgiving within us. We would be told that an attitude of thanksgiving is a nice idea that is worthy of being touched every now and then. That speaking the word on occasion would be an appropriate ‘tipping of the hat’ to a largely empty ritual. That there might be a bit of something to it somewhere, but embracing it without ample caution is likely to take the edge off of our fighting spirit, or it might prompt us to share our scant resources with those who have no idea what it cost us to get those resources, or it will cost us our hard won place at the table of world that we’ve expended the entirety of our lives acquiring. And although the world is unlikely to admit to such an attitude, far too often that is how this world would see it.
A sense of thanksgiving would not be proclaimed to be the utterly transformational attitude, that if allowed to take free root at the core of our being, will liberate us of the darkness that we’ve so errantly taken for light. The world would not tell us that the things that the world claims will set us back are most often the very things that will thrust us forward. We can be certain beyond all certainty that greed, entitlement, sloth, selfish agendas, and shallow pursuits will each hold themselves out as far greater than this passing nicety called Thanksgiving. It will too often be heralded as antiquated when, in fact, it has never been more timely. It will be proclaimed as something of another time and other place, when it is exactly what we need in this time and in this place. Entitlement and greed will call a sense of thanksgiving a fool’s errand, leaving us to ask who the fool really is.
What About Thanksgiving?
And so, what about Thanksgiving? What about it? What place will you dare to grant it, how firmly will you hold onto it in whatever place you grant it, and to what degree will you grant it the power to not just change your life, but transform it? For to miss it or to render it less than what it is, is to let something die that all of the greed, entitlement, sloth, selfish agendas, and shallow pursuits will never, and can never revive. And that is simply too dangerous.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18