Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
For most of us Thanksgiving is the time of year when we gather with those close to us and reflect on that we are most thankful for. However, over the years Thanksgiving has been hijacked by Black Friday preparations. Months of psychological warfare by way of Christmas displays and commercials since August erode the depth, history, and opportunity this day holds. Thanksgiving is commonly seen as the “speed bump” before Christmas. How can we recover the essence of what this day stands for? How can we take back Thanksgiving? The answer is butter!
I can remember the Thanksgiving of 2002. That day I had been thinking about what to give thanks for. As in most homes we always went around the dinner table and told everyone what we were thankful for. Usually it’s not too hard for me, but that year I was struggling. I was feeling apathetic, overwhelmed, depressed, and quite frankly, I was not in the “thanks giving” mood. In fact if there was a soda can on the ground I would have probably been kicking it down the street. I knew the right answer was to be thankful for my God and my family. Although I was thankful for both something lacked in my affections and my apathy saturated my mood.
It was dinnertime and we went around the table starting with the kids. I still remember their little faces and the sweet declarations they made as they expressed thanks for all that they were blessed with. My daughter Gabby was eight years old and she gave a succinct yet tender address. My daughter Madison was only two years old and yet she was able to articulate her thoughts in that broken baby language that only parents fully understand. Even though both of their addresses were heartfelt my heart was still in a funk. Finally, it was my four-year-old son Brian’s (Bubba’s) turn. He looked around and with bold confidence and thanksgiving declaring, “ I am most thankful for butter!” The table erupted with uncontrollable laughter. “Why are you most thankful for butter Bubba,” I asked? “It tastes good and makes everything taste good,” he replied. “Are you thankful for your family,” I asked. He looked at me, and girding his four year old logic stated, “Yes, but you already know that.”
His honesty made me laugh but it also made me contemplate what it really meant to be thankful. His four-year-old mind was not engrossed with worry, anxiety, apathy, or depression. He was not thankful for his toys or striving for the next “big thing”. He was thankful for a simple staple. His thankfulness extended the breadth from his family all the way to a 75-cent stick of butter.
Our God provides us so much! We are a blessed people with a God that showers us with his daily provisions. Everything good comes from God because God is good and deserving of our esteem and respect. His steadfast, covenantal, love is shown to us by the very air we breath. This Thanksgiving forget about Black Friday and spend more time looking into your loved ones eyes and treasure the conversations you have with them. This Thanksgiving, forget about the things you do not have, and reflect on the abundance you do have. This Thanksgiving take some time out, reflect, and give thanks to our Lord for his cornucopia of grace. Lastly let’s take back Thanksgiving and remember butter makes every Thanksgiving better.
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