Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Tomorrow Is Thanksgiving

I admit I sometimes have ambivalent feelings about Thanksgiving. Is it a gathering of family, significant others, and friends around food? Or is it an occasion for thanking God for his divine care and guidance? Or is it a mixture of the two—a meal together and a time of thankfulness?

Thanksgiving for me usually does not differ from any other day. No church. No school. All by my lonesome. I have no family and no significant other to celebrate Thanksgiving with me where I live.
Friends have on occasion invited me to their Thanksgiving celebration. I don’t make a good dinner guest. I am a relatively strict vegetarian on a restricted diet.
“We have salad.” I don’t live on lettuce like a rabbit. “Are these bacon bits?” “You can pick them out.”

My friends are well-meaning, and I love them. But vegetarians are not going eat something from which they must first remove pieces of meat or fish. Or in which meat has been used as a seasoning.
I am also a diabetic. I am not going to eat pumpkin pie, brownies, sugar cookies, or any other sweets. I might fruit provide no one has sprinkled sugar over it.
I must either bring my own food or politely refuse the invitation. I am apt to do the latter.
Do I do anything special on Thanksgiving day? Make myself a special Thanksgiving dinner? I think about it. That’s about as far as it gets. The thinking stage.
I may look back over the year to date, looking for the times where I experienced God's care and guidance, for things like my new church family, the Freedom Fest parade, VBS Sunday, the Help Food Distribution Ministry, my voice class, and that sort of thing. They are high points and I am grateful for them. I am thankful for all the kindnesses and mercies God has shown me. I may pray a prayer of thanksgiving.

I may also recall the disappointments and the sad moments, the times when things did not go the way I hoped they would.
I don't know what part God played in them. He does allow us free will.
The special people God has placed in my life do make choices which disappoint and sadden me. I can only trust in God in his way, in his time, to redeem things.
God puts the special people in our lives for good, not ill. We are to keep on loving them whatever happens. That’s one of the reasons God put them in our lives.

My prayer is that everyone has a safe Thanksgiving.
The winter COVID-19 surge has begun. People drink too much at holidays and drive while they are under the influence. Domestic quarrels often occur on holidays. Children are often abused on holidays. People can turn ugly for no apparent reason.
When I was in child protection, we circled the holidays on our calendars in red, the holidays and the full moon. We got the most referral around those times.

May God protect everyone and particularly those who are dear to you.
God bless you with every spiritual blessing, in particular with a thankful heart for all the ways God’s grace is working in your lives.
Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

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