Am I thanking God because I have what others don't?
Thanksgiving is always a little awkward for me. I get it, and I like that we do it, and I like that it's a huge deal for many of us. But for me, there's always that awkward moment where we stop and say, "Well, we need to remember to be thankful at this moment..."
It's awkward ... if I've not generally been thankful before then. It's awkward if I haven't stopped long enough to remember all that God's grace has done for us. It's awkward to just manufacture grateful words and thoughts because the turkey is done cooking on a certain day on the calendar.
But it's also awkward for me because we can forget what to be thankful for. "OK, everyone, we're going to go around the table and you're going to say what you're thankful for." If I say something too biblical, it sounds pious. But then that leaves being thankful for the stuff I have and the people in my life.
So, then, it becomes awkward for me because now I'm keenly aware of being thankful for things that other people don't have. "Thanks, God, for a car that works ... but some people just up the road can't afford one."
Am I the only one?
If this makes you feel awkward, too (or if I have now made you feel awkward), it helps to read what Jesus was thankful for and what Paul was thankful for and others in Scripture who can leads us in faith.
- Browse to the NET Bible at https://netbible.org (click and a new window will open)
- In the search box, enter "thanks" and hit enter.
- If you want to focus on the New Testament, next to "Filter by:" click "NT."
- Sort by relevance or by passage.
- Read through the verses that have the word "thanks" in them with an eye toward what exactly these folks were thankful about.
- If you want, read the verses in context.
It's a good re-orienting for me. And it's not awkward at all.
(image: By Marcus Quigmire from Florida, USA - Thanksgiving Dinner, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23355840)