Yes, it's that time of year...the time during which we all talk about the things for which we are most thankful. But why do we wait until Thanksgiving? Why do we wait until the pilgrims tell us it's time to gorge ourselves and give thanks for all our friends and family (and maybe moving across the ocean to practice religious freedom)? I think about what that must have been like to share their first harvest with the native Wampanoag tribe. Imagine the dialogue:
Pilgrim 1: Hey, we've got some corn we grew. Want some?
Wampanoag 1: If you give us some fruits and veggies, we'll give you some of our deer we just killed. Do you guys even know what venison is?
Pilgrim 2: Well, we know a lot about tea, but hey, we're game to try some venison. *laughs at his own joke*
Wampanoag 2: That's not really all that funny. I'm not sure this is going to work out so well.
Pilgrim 1: Don't worry about him. He's really never funny, but he has grown some grain that we could use to make some bread we could break together.
Wampanoag 1: Your bread breaks? *looks at Wampanoag 2* I'm not sure we want to share our deer with people who make bread that breaks.
Truthfully, I cannot even imagine what that must have been like. I wonder if, when the pilgrims put out their hands to say a prayer of thanks, the Wampanoag were thinking, "We are going to have to use a serious amount of hand sanitizer after this."
For what are you most thankful? I kneel down on my little bedside stool every morning to thank God for the day ahead and ask Him to keep me serene for the day. I'm thankful that, when I do that, I have a loving little girl Lab (L.C.) who lies down on the bed and puts her paws up next to my praying hands. I like to think she really is praying with me. It is a bit of a ritual I have been doing for approximately the last 22 years. I have almost never missed a day, so while I don't really like calling it a mere habit, it truly is. The problem? Before our pandemic, I was traveling a lot for work. Kneeling down on a hotel room carpet is not really conducive to serenity for a person with a bit of control freakiness and maybe a tiny bit of OCD. But I couldn't compromise, or it would have been that much easier to lapse the next day, and even easier the day after that. So, no matter if I have been in a tent on a safari in Africa, having to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to catch an early flight, or on vacation somewhere with Dave and the dogs, I still make it a priority.
What is so important? Everything! I love sunshine; I love family and friends; I love the work I do, getting to teach at four universities; I love hearing what keeps teachers and administrators going even when the going gets tough; I love watching "Lucifer" on Netflix; I love movie theater popcorn; I am thankful for Jesus dying for my sins, and the hits just keep coming. For what are you grateful? Dave and I like to take a moment for every person at our Thanksgiving table to answer that question during the meal. It is amazing the things we hear.
Why not take a moment to kneel down during this Thanksgiving week (or sit, if your knees can't handle the kneeling) and thank God for all the earthly and spiritual things that bring your gratitude?
Happy Communicating and Happy Thanksgiving blessings to all!!