Getting a Jump on Thanksgiving

Meals were never very regular when I was growing up. We always got fed … but there was nothing like a schedule. We either went foraging or we ate when Mom was ready to cook. It worked and I certainly didn’t suffer from malnutrition.

The worst time was Thanksgiving. The meal was usually scheduled for one or two o’clock. Out of town family would start showing up around three and we might be lucky to eat by five. What made it unbearable for a young man … on that day, there was no foraging. The kitchen was off limits.

So, when our haggard and hungry brood finally set down to eat, we were beyond ready. Like the little girl in the picture I was ready to do a faceplant in the pie or potatoes. Fork? Who needs a fork? Just let me go carnivore on that turkey! But like a Panamanian taxi that just saw a fare, the whole thing would come to a screeching halt. Mom would swat back a reaching hand and say, “Before we eat, I want us to each say something we’re thankful to God for.” Nooooooo! It happened the same way every year. How did I not anticipate this?

With the pressure high and the blood sugar low, I could never think of anything. I would mumble “turkey” or “pie” or “whipped cream.” Mom would give me a disapproving look and I’d feel like a total heathen for not being profoundly thankful for something … profound. To be fair, it’s hard to be prepared for something if you only do it once a year. Thankfulness is like golf, unless you do it daily, you’ll never be any good.

So, here’s my advice. Get a jump on Thanksgiving. If you start thinking now, you should be able to have a long and meaningful list by Thanksgiving Day. Don’t give the whole list, those other people are hungry also. But, if someone asks what you’re thankful for, you should have no problem answering. No awkward silence or lame replies; you can give a solid answer about some of God’s goodness in your life. Actually … why not practice thanksgiving all year? That’s what the Bible commends for every believer.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Through Christ then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17