The Thanksgiving Paradigm Shift
Things that make you go hmmm. At FriDudes, you know we love to challenge. We push out of comfort zones, get real and pursue Truth. For those of you in the United States, most of you will be giving thanks tomorrow with family and/or friends. Or maybe you're alone today and/or outside the United States, regardless, we know gratitude is healthy. Wherever you may be, the wise also know it's best to give thanks each day, not just one day. Whether you are Deep or not, this is a cool take below. Could qualify for a 'Spiritual Bong Hit'. It actually came from my wife via her 'Prayer Team Leader' at work. Yes, a private yet secular workplace where co-workers have the freedom to share. Here you go...
"I mentioned that my company has a prayer team where we receive prayer requests through email. We are privately held and the owner had a very strong faith (he has passed and now his son runs the company). I’m very blessed to work here. I wanted to pass along a message from our prayer team leader. Changed my thought about how I view Thanksgiving so I thought I’d pass along...."
"While I can’t prove it, my experience suggests that Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of many. I’ve heard this opinion expressed often. Usually, the reason for one’s love of Thanksgiving is that the holiday has no pretense: no expectations of decorations or gift giving. It’s simply a time of food, family, and being thankful. Another reason I’ve heard a preference for Thanksgiving over other holidays is that there is no “religious” connotation to the day: no requisite church obligations, no concerns about offending others with beliefs that don’t align with the day’s significance. Thanksgiving, it would seem, is simply a day to be thankful...nothing less, and really not much more.
But here’s the thing I wonder about...If we take God out of the Thanksgiving, who the heck are we thanking!? I am thankful “for” myriad people and blessings in my life: my family, my job, good friends, good health, and on and on and on. But when I really question who I am thankful “to” for all that I give thanks “for”, the answer becomes obvious. It’s Almighty God Himself!
If God is our creator, our provider, our healer, our foundation, our strength, our rock, then any day of thanks should be directed and dedicated to Him, don’t you think? When you really get down to it, all that we are thankful for...everything!...is a manifestation of God’s grace. We kid ourselves often into thinking we deserve the blessings of our lives because we work hard, make good decisions, play by the rules, treat others kindly, etc. And while all these things are noble- and may be true - we must stop to consider the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick and remind ourselves: “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” (John Bradford)
Think about it! If I think I “deserve” my good health, I need only consider the many with much healthier lifestyles than mine who fall victim to terrible illness. If I think I “deserve” what modest success I’ve had in my career, I need only consider those much smarter and more clever who have fallen on hard times. If I think I “deserve” my comfortable suburban standard of living, I need only consider my random birth to loving, caring parents and not a starving young couple living in a cardboard shack in Calcutta! I have SO MUCH to be thankful for... yet I DESERVE nothing! And I respectfully submit that the same is true for you.
Is Thanksgiving a religious holiday? I guess that depends on one’s definition of and feelings about religion.
Is Thanksgiving a holiday which should include God in our celebration and gratitude? I think so!"
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!” John Newton
For the bonus take on anxiety and audio version, simply click here. Perhaps listen in your vehicle with your family or friends. Or read aloud at your next 'giving thanks' event. Lord knows that we need less anxiety, more gratitude and way more peace. "Do not be anxious about anything. Pray about everything. Lift the negatives to God that are bogging you down. Give God thanks for what is worthy. If you do this enough, you will experience God's peace." paraphrased from Phil 4: 6-7