I was remembering back when I was in elementary school, just a few years ago. (Okay, enough. It SEEMS like just a few years ago!) You know… back when you’d get to pull out that box of Crayolas™ and produce a piece of artwork that you KNEW was going to wind up on the refrigerator for all of the family to see, admire and be jealous of.
You remember… that perfect depiction of the first Thanksgiving Day, with the pilgrims all dressed up in those fancy suits with short britches and buckles on their shoes and hats… waiting to dive into that scrumptious first Thanksgiving dinner of plenty. Remember?
I don’t remember a lot of what I was taught then about Thanksgiving. But through the years, I’ve come to understand more. Those folks who celebrated that original feast didn’t seem to have THAT much to be thankful for. They didn’t have closets full of clothes, many that they seldom, if ever, even wore. They didn’t spend much time deciding which shoes they’d wear with THAT outfit. They didn’t jump up on a cold, winter morning and turn up the thermostat to get the house more comfortably warm.. or turn on the lights so they could easily navigate THROUGH the house. They didn’t fall behind in their daily schedule because they were distracted by something on the TV.
While they didn’t have to worry and fuss about the cost of a gallon of gasoline, they also didn’t have to worry about which of the vehicles they’d be driving that day. (And they didn’t have to fret about that silly little oil drip in their driveway - as I have been for about a month.) They didn’t have to worry about how much tread was left on the tires, or that impending and dreaded “state inspection.” They had no hospital bills, no Foley’s bills, no electric and gas bills. And they weren’t wondering how they were going to “pay” for Christmas.
So what DID they have to be thankful for? With the long, hard, harsh winter taking the lives of many of their loved ones and friends, and with many still clinging to what life they had left in them, they were still able to offer thanks to God. In my mind I can almost hear those prayers. “Lord, we thank you that we are alive. We have food, clothing, some shelter, and each other. And, we have YOU.”
I don’t know about you, but I have MUCH to be thankful for. I’d love to be able to lay a list of some of it before you, but I don’t have enough room in the space of this article, and I don’t have time. I’ve had a good, hot shower, a hot cup of coffee and I’ve got to get to a meeting. So I’ll turn off the lights here, head out to that Tahoe with the tiny oil drip and be on my way.
And today, at least… I’m more thankful than usual, and not near as much as I have cause to be. (Forgive me, Lord.)
Life’s an adventure. Happy Thanksgiving!
Randy McLelland, a.k.a. Randy Mac, is senior pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on FM 202. He plays the role of "Grandpa" in The Promise and, through his “Livin' It Up” ministries, is a motivational speaker and Christian entertainer. He can be reached at email@example.com or (817) 454-3386. His web address is randymac.com.