In case you hadn’t noticed, we have become a nation of celebrators. Thanks to Hallmark and social media, we now have a day set aside for just about anything you can imagine. April 19 is National High Five Day. Gardeners have to set aside their prejudice one day a year on March 28 for Weed Appreciation Day. Nothing is too small or mundane to rise to the ranks of national recognition; therefore, January 6 is National Bean Day. And just in case we haven’t become self-absorbed enough, June 21 is National Selfie Day.
Can you see the card? On the outside it reads, “It’s all about You!” And when you open it, you find this inscription, “I got you this card to remind you to take more pics of you, so you will remember that you are the center of your world. Yours truly …”
And now, one of our nation’s greatest holidays shares the month with Pickle Day and Micky Mouse’s Birthday. Of course, I’m talking about November and Thanksgiving. The origins of this day go back to the Pilgrims and Plymouth Plantation, although some have argued the inaccuracy of this. None-the-less, the first National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in 1777. The first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the USA was declared by George Washington in 1789. It wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving began to be observed annually in the US.
The one thing that has remained consistent throughout the years has been the object of our thanks. The Continental Congress called Him “Almighty God.” George Washington referred to Him as “great Lord and Ruler of nations.” And Abraham Lincoln called Him “beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
It is right and good for us as a nation to set aside a day each year to thank God for His immeasurable blessings. However, if we are only thankful one day a year, we kind of miss the point. Rather than just going around the table and expressing what we are thankful for (which is a great tradition), we could add a few more items to our Thanksgiving activities.
- Recommit ourselves to having a thankful attitude all year long. Promise to count our blessings daily. Hold each other accountable to remember what we have whenever we become discontent.
- Look around and help someone less fortunate than ourselves. We won’t have to look far. Nothing brings our blessings into stark reality like listening to the stories of those that are homeless, addicted, lonely, hopeless, and hurting.
- Remember where it all comes from. When we think we are our own providers, we tend to hold on to things tighter. But when we acknowledge that it is all from God and He has simply made us His stewards, we can see more easily how He has entrusted us with blessings for a much bigger purpose. I heard someone say, “Not everything God gives me is for me.”
At Wichita Falls Faith Mission, we strive to live thankful lives. The individuals we serve every day are many times lacking the very basics of life. How could we do anything less than listen to their stories and help them find God’s true purpose for their lives and realize their identity in Christ?
Colossians 2:7 says, “Let your roots grow down into Him (Jesus), and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,