A Legacy Of Thanksgiving
Here in the United States we celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday. For most Americans Thanksgiving means gathering with family and friends to watch football, overeat, and enjoy a day off of work. While most know that the intended purpose of the day has something to do with being thankful (the day IS called Thanksgiving after all), it’s obvious that most spend the day oblivious of the countless reasons we have to be thankful.
When I woke up yesterday morning I was like most Americans… oblivious of the countless reasons to be thankful. My mind was filled with thoughts of turkey, sweet potatoes, and all berry pie. I was thinking of my father’s brand new iPad and helping him set up Facebook and Gmail… I was thinking about playing Legos with the kids.
While my mind was thinking about these things… I never thought to stop and give thanks to God for these things. Yes, the food, iPad, Facebook, Gmail, and Legos are all things to be thankful for.
But, what about those who I enjoy the food with? What about my wife who prepared the meal? What about my mother & father? the kids? Infinitely more important than the “things” are the people who we enjoy the things with.
Then late in the afternoon the phone rang. My reminder to be truly thankful came in the most dreadful of ways.
One of my cousins, only 42 years old, had died unexpectedly sometime during the night. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… I had only seen him a month earlier. We had spent the afternoon together at Niagara Falls, and enjoyed dinner together at TGI Friday’s. Never did I realize that would be the last time we would be together.
Yes, I am thankful for the “things” in my life… the “things” that make life easier, like iPads & Gmail, and the “things” that make life enjoyable like all berry pie, Legos, and Facebook.
However, I was reminded that the people in my life are infinitely more important than the “things” in my life. I was reminded to be most thankful for the people in my life…. Like my wife and children, my in-laws, my cousins, my friends, my neighbors, and the saints at my local assembly. iPads can be replaced, people can not.
Life, at best, is brief. Yes, we know this to be true in an academic sense, but do we really believe it to be true? Do you live each day in the reality of this truth? Do I?
Are we mending broken relationships? Are we telling our loved ones that we love them? Are we sharing the Good News of the Gospel… that life is not pointless, there is a purpose greater than ourselves.
Life is too short for me not to share with you the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That God, the creator of Heaven and Earth loves you, even despite the fact that you have sinned and offended Him. How do I know that God loves you? Because He sent His only die to die in your place, to pay the penalty of your sin.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
My prayer is that this Thanksgiving, and its lessons, will never be forgotten.