I love Thanksgiving. Stuffing smothered in gravy makes my mouth water. Kneading the dough for the crescent rolls brings stress relief. Warm, yeasty scents from them baking in the oven offer comfort even a hug lacks.
Do I even need to mention the apple-cinnamon fragrance of the bubbly apple pie?
The idea of families gathering to reflect on their blessings trumps even the delicious food. Being thankful gets lost in the rush of everyday life. It’s nice to know that at least once a year we’ll slow down – the turkey will guarantee it – to say thank you.
Who do we thank?
For people who don’t believe in an omniscient Creator, I wonder who they are thanking. When they say, “I’m thankful for my family, my health and the fact I didn’t get laid off from my job when hundreds of other people did,” just who are they thankful to?
My family and I will be sending our prayers of thanks and words of praise toward Heaven. I hope god will be inundated with so many similar prayers of gratitude and praise that he’ll wish for an answering machine. (Wait, that’s old school. He’ll be yearning for voice mail.)
What are we thankful for?
My list exceeds my height in its length. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t reflecting very deeply on all the things it takes to sustain life. In America, we take them for granted because they’re always there. Well, except in the aftermath of a hurricane or blizzard.
I can walk into my kitchen and press a glass against a lever on my refrigerator door and fill a glass with clean, cold water. According to WaterAid who quotes WHO, 11 percent of the people in the world don’t have access to clean, safe water. When was the last time I was thankful for it?
How about the fact that I can use a toilet in my house, flush it an the waste is transported far away to be taken care of in a healthy way? WHO says 35 percent of the people in the world don’t have access to such sanitation. That’s 2.5 billion people who have to think about what to do with their bodily waste every day. In America, we just flush and forget it. I’m incredibly thankful to live where I can do that.
I could go on and fill this post with tons of statistics about basic “necessities” of life that we rarely consider being thankful for while millions of people in the world don’t have them.
Family, health and jobs top our list of things to be grateful for on the fourth Thursday of November. Aren’t we glad our basic needs are met so we can focus on these things?
I know I am. And not just one day per year, either.
Why only one day in the year?
Don’t get me wrong, I think Thanksgiving is the best holiday because it helps our selfish, self-centered society stop and consider someone other than “numero uno” and that’s something that is sadly lacking on 364 other days of the year.
I’m not suggesting we should add more national days of feasting frenzy to the calendar. I know my waistline couldn’t handle that. I’m just wondering if it’s too much to ask for people to sit down at the end of every day and think of a dozen things they’re thankful for that day.
My list for today: 1) I have a day off from work; 2) My sons are home for a few days; 3) You are reading my blog; 4) I’m inside where it’s warm and dry because outside is a deluge; 5) I’m married to Mr. Wonderful; 6) Jesus loves me; 7) Breakfast burritos; 8) An hour-long bubble bath; 9) I could run on the treadmill; 10) I have a Bible to read; 11) I have other books to read – while I run on the treadmill; and 12) When I’m hungry, I can go in the kitchen and get something nutritious (should I choose that over delicious) to eat.
I didn’t even break a sweat or make a dent in all the wonderful things I have in my life. What about you? What are you thankful for?
And just for fun, I’ve included a poll about favorite holidays. If you select other, I hope you’ll post a comment naming the holiday.