November 23, 2009 (Blog #134)
The title is intentional.
In this week of Thanksgiving, I am personally hoping to make it far more than food and football. (And I really love them both.) (Did you notice I left out shopping? :)
Somehow deconstructing that word (Thanksgiving) and putting "Giving" in the foreground, helps me think and act more clearly.
'cause the real stuff of this week comes from initiative not just appetite.
And letting "Thanks" stand alone, makes it somehow clearer.
Giving Thanks is not just a mumbled "good food" as everyone gets up from the table...
Giving Thanks is a clear, from-the-heart expression of appreciation and regard to someone that is meaningfully expressed and well-received. You can tell when you are in that realm because it is often the realm of watering eyes....and trembling lips.
And it is the same with God....you can't go very far in expressing a depth of thankfulness to Him before your heart is so full that a holy meltdown can be drawn very close.
This piece, in fact, got triggered in me by a recall of Romans 1:21 -
"Though they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him,
but their thinking became futile and
their foolish hearts were darkened."
No wonder there are so many (100+) references to the example and benefit of giving thanks in the Bible. Somehow it feels to me like Romans is saying: one of the signs of darkness within, and a creeping darkness at that.....is an absence of giving thanks. (Withold the thankfulness that should be expressed....and the darkness creeps in a little further.)
So in the days of this week (and beyond) may we give thanks clearly and lavishly.
Not just for a wonderful meal.
But for a sunny day, a cool breeze, a multi-colored sunset, a warm bed, a smile that cheers, a partner who stays, a child who delights, a job that provides, faith that lifts, grace that forgives, courage that just keeps going, and stars that humble, birds that mystify, and rocks that solidify, and memories that bring jollity...and...
We are surrounded by a thousand things (really) for which we can speak our thanks.
So may we find times this week to be deeply giving thanks
......to God, to friends and family.
In fact, I suggest that you plan a time of Giving Thanks for the gathering and celebration you will be a part of.
Have someone take the lead and invite people to engage one another, or the group as a whole in a time of giving thanks....let it go long enough so that it will have time to become very real and include everyone in the group.
Then follow that up with a time of prayer to God, Who in His great love and mercy "has given us everything richly for our enjoyment." (I Timothy 6:17)
Have a wondrous week...