Do you remember those magic words – the words learned shortly after we began to speak. By the time we learned to say, “please and thank you,” we may not have had an inkling as to why those words were necessary. At the time, we were the center of the universe. No one deserved such accolades outside of ourselves. As a parent it was a necessary rite of passage to teach our young’ns that these words were important in showing our respect to others – common lessons in good manners which seem to be waning over time.
As we approach another Thanksgiving Day, we set aside one 24 hour period to say thanks to God and those we’re connected with. Actually, it’s more than a day, when you consider all the planning that went into the process. The sweat and sometimes the tears over a feast that would include special tableware, beautiful centerpieces, food galore where everyone sits together for the fifteen minutes it takes to consume the spectacular banquet.
From the table to the kitchen sink – plastic containers to save the leftovers – dishes to load in a dishwasher or soapy water – a little more community time to chat and enjoy each other’s company. Or maybe it’s a trip to the couch and an afternoon of watching football.
Thanksgiving has been relegated to all other family holidays that might bring up old disagreements. Sometimes controversial subjects are brought up and arguments ensue. Oh the joy of the holiday season. A group survey of the newspaper ads for black Friday and finally a trip to save a few bucks, by spending more than you intended for the next holiday.
We are not a traditional Thanksgiving family. The men are always deer hunting in Wisconsin. We usually have our feast before or shortly after the actual day. Before we sit down to eat, Paul will ask the blessing. We all know that the prayer often takes longer than it does to eat, but everyone is kind enough to let the food get a little cold so we can join in those special words of Thanksgiving – those magic words we were taught as children.
How can we possibly thank God for all that He’s done for us? He created a world for us to inhabit. It’s filled with beauty beyond compare even though sullied with sin. He walks beside us through life and has promised to carry our burdens if we let Him. He has taken upon Himself our iniquities and forgiven us all of our sins. He has prepared a perfect life for our time after death. His love is unconditional and immeasurable. When we come to Him with our please and thank you, we’re showing Him a small portion of the respect due Him.
Thank Him through our prayers. Show our respect for Him by the way we treat others. Take our petitions to Him on a daily basis – not just when things get desperate. The magic words should also extend to those we come in contact with every day – not because we have to, but because we really mean it.