Thursday, November 5, 2015

How Often Do You Think About Thanksgiving?

Now that October is over, I need to find a new topic. I liked doing the miniseries thing, so I am going to do it again. For the next few weeks leading up to it, I am going to run another series. This one will be on the importance of Thanksgiving.

This is going to put me in the uncomfortable position of having to ask myself the questions, since no one is asking me. As I have said before, I don’t like doing that. I do not know what you are all interested in, so when I guess, it tends to have less impact (if site visits and shares are any indication). In other words, keep the questions coming!

But I am going to do this anyway because sometimes, I have to try to create interest where it doesn’t exist. I want to be part of the effort to encourage attention on this holiday. It needs it. And if I can give Halloween a month when it doesn’t deserve one, then I can give Thanksgiving one when it does.

Which is the purpose of this first post in the series. As I go forward, I intend to get into some of the details. We are going to look at the history and philosophy of Thanksgiving in this country and its church-and-state significance, what we can learn from the Ancient Israelite festival most closely related to Thanksgiving, and the human need for giving thanks. But for today, I want to simply ask you to think about it.

How much time do you spend thinking about Thanksgiving? My current readers probably do more than most, but what about the average American? I bet it’s about five minutes’ worth before a meal on the fourth Thursday of November.

The holiday just can’t seem to get any respect. Why? That’s probably my biggest question, and I welcome your thoughts on it, since I am not going to try to give some answers until a later post. For now, let’s just you and I try to turn that trend around.

Put it on the brain. Remember Thanksgiving and keep it in view for the next month, not just for a day or two at the end of it. And don’t only think about preparing or eating the food. That’s part of the celebration, don’t get me wrong. But it is not the only or even primary part.

Thanksgiving has been relegated to secondary status. And how many people even decorate for it, yet alone think about it? People toss out their jack-o-lanterns and hang up their stockings. Thanksgiving is hardly anything more than the midpoint between Halloween and Christmas. For more and more places, it isn’t even an off day. Our society cares more about shopping than giving thanks.

One last time, I’ll say I intend to look at these things with a more concentrated focus later. But today, here at the start of November, I am asking you—begging you—to think about why we have this holiday. Give it some thought. Give it some love. Put out a cornucopia. And say at least a little prayer because, spoiler alert, that’s what it’s all about.

This is a celebration of our blessings. Giving thanks, showing gratitude, is something we don’t seem to be very good at, if our approach to this holiday is any indication. This is the third year now I have tried to turn that around, and it won’t be the last, I'm sure. I want to see it take its rightful place in our national consciousness, because I know Whom it is truly for. God deserves nothing less. Give it to Him.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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