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Thanksgiving the agony and the ecstasy

Thanksgiving day fast approaches and for many of my clients Thanskgiving is a very stressful time. Rather than making it a quiet time where we truly give thanks and are aware of the tremendous grace and blessings of God many of my clients and neighbours are frantically shopping and preparing to cook an enormous feast for friends and family. The meals are always too small despite the size of the kitchen or the capacity of the table. The meals are almost always too meager.

It is a time many people reason that we celebrate with family and eat copious amounts of food and have turkey which no one really enjoys but it is tradition. It is a time when families drive long distances to have a meal together. When the meal is done and the dishes put away what next? Typically people drink and fall asleep. Then what? They go home.

So what is the point of Thanksgiving and why do we set aside a time to gather together. For many people it is a very lonely time. I think of the widowers, the elderly and those with no family. They smell the gravy and see the cars parked in the neighbours driveways and eat quiet dinners alone. It is a time of tremendous isolation for many people. If Thanksgiving is truly a time to give thanks then we need be mindful of those around us who may be alone.

Thankgiving surely is a time that is far more important than pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin pie or turkey. It is far more important than gathering the family clan together under one roof. It is a time where we become aware of God and to thank Him for our lives, our relationship with Him and the countless graces we receive. We are thankful for the meal which is a cause for celebration but we need be thankful for much more. If we are only thankful for the meal then the meal is far too small. We are thankful for far too little and so no matter how large the table we must lift up our eyes to be aware of and to be thankful for much more more which is God Himself.

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