For many Americans, “Thanksgiving” is a special time of the year, but why is it special?
Some are thankful for the bounty of food to be enjoyed at Grandma’s house. Some are thankful that Thanksgiving will bring a 4-day break from our jobs. Some are thankful for the time to begin shopping for Christmas.
Unlike other Holidays, “Thanksgiving” is unique. There are no presents to buy, spending way beyond our budgets, wrapping gifts, new party dresses, and the like. Nope, it’s just a unique Holiday – four days to do with as we please, right?
So, what does “Thanksgiving” mean to you? Could “Thanksgiving” simply be the best time of the year to restore our mental health and relationships with God and families?
All the other days of the year are busy with cleaning house, preparing meals, getting baths, helping with homework, transporting family members, taking care of our spouse, overwhelming workloads, shopping, home repairs, maintaining our autos, helping the neighbors, sitting in traffic, visiting the less fortunate, helping with church needs, making cookies for the baseball team, and the list goes on and on.
Ever wonder why most of us don’t have a sane moment to just listen to the wind blowing? Yes, the other 361 days of the year push our mental and physical health to the limits.
Then is it so bad to accept the benefits of the “Thanksgiving” holidays? Could it just be exactly what most of us really need in our lives?
Is it the one time of the year that “nothing” means “something” very special? Can we just dispense with all the routines associated with socializing to focus upon personal needs that rejuvenate our mental health and soul?
Next, could this be the perfect time of the year to restore our relationship with God? After all, the connections between body, soul, and mind must be important – year ‘round.
However, most forget about these critical issues 364 days a year due to the onslaught of demands from our careers, families, neighbors, love ones, and other interests.
The Apostle Paul gives us wise advice in Philippians 4:11 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Isn’t Paul telling us to relax and know that God is always in control – even when our lives may not be going as planned?
It’s so easy to destroy the precious few moments we may have alone when we take time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to concentrate on our issues. Isn’t “me time” important, too?
Instead of seeking peace, we often allow stress to override our faith instead of knowing God is always in control and He is always going to make us content… but only if we allow Him!
God provides adequate instructions for all to follow – if we want to be blessed and content – in 1 Thessalonians 5:15-22:
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”
In everything give thanks, even when problems come our way, God is going to bless the circumstance for our benefit, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. God’s will is our ultimate goal in life.
Most would agree this is nothing more than a commonsense approach to life. We live our lives according to God’s will – never anything else. We study God’s word daily, because He mandates our prayers begin with Matthew 6:8-14:
“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Yes, “Thanksgiving” may not be just about a meal, but it could be an opportunity for the renewal of our soul and spirit. Perhaps it’s a time when we reset our minds and start fresh knowing God is going to make us content… if we do His will in our lives.
Maybe this “Thanksgiving” would be a great time to go around the dinner table and allow each person to tell everyone what they are thankful for in their lives. Then, just maybe, everyone could then join in a group hug to tell one another how thankful we are for them!
Enjoy a “Happy Thanksgiving!”