|My perspective on Thanksgiving was irrevocably shaped on a Monday evening 22 years ago. You see that eventful day started with a phone call from my mom. The call came unusually early that morning, and she did not have good news. Dad had been rushed to the hospital late last evening, and they thought he had a suffered a stroke. That evening, I along with my family was by dad’s bedside to hear the grim news. He had suffered massive aneurysm and he was brain dead. We prayed, held each other and painfully accepted the stunning verdict. This was especially stinging as he had spent 6 weeks a month prior remodeling our basement and getting to know his first grand-daughter. We had taken pictures and he would never get to see them (pre-digital camera era). We buried him on Black Friday, an indeed dreary day from our perspective. This event gave me riveting perspective on what is important.Time has brought healing and returned the rich perspective of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving brings a glance back into our hopes and desires, and reveals the multitude of wondrous blessings that shape our lives. This Thanksgiving,I anticipate seeing all of my immediate family members with the exception of my eldest daughter who is on a mission trip to Mozambique.For those not steepened in US culture, let me share a few definitions that shape the day. First the turkey: A large bird whose flesh, when eaten on certain holidays has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. If you are new to the tradition, and are fretting about how best to manage the new bird, here is a tip.Check out butterball’s help at www.butterball.com.There you will find videos, web chats to make you a confident cook!There is also football! Yes! My thanks that my team is not playing to invite indigestion.Seriously folks, take a moment to count your blessings. A little history here- In 1941, the world was in bad shape. FDR shared his hope for the world even during challenging times. His speech inspired Norman Rockwell to capture the sentiment of his statements in a series of portraits – i.e. the four wants
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of religion
- Freedom from want
- Freedom from fear
Place your situation within the context of these freedoms.
One final advice; do not use this time to bombard yourselves with
Continuous Negative News.
Enjoy this joke at the media’s expense.
A man is walking through the zoo when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to devour her right in front of the little girl’s screaming parents. The man runs to the cage, hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the man returns her to her terrified parents.
A newspaper reporter has seen the whole scene and says to the rescuer. “Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life,” he says.
“Why, it was nothing,” the man says. “Really, the lion was behind bars and I knew God would protect me just as He did Daniel in the lion’s den long, long ago. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt was right.”
“I noticed a bible in your pocket — are you religious?” asked the journalist.
“Yes, and I’m a Christian on my way to a bible study,” the man replies.
“Well, I’ll make sure this act won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist and tomorrow’s paper will have this on the front page,” he says before leaving.
The following morning the man buys a copy of the newspaper to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads on first page:
“Right Wing Christian Fundamentalist Assaults African Immigrant and Steals His Lunch.”
I hope you will gain a balanced perspective on life.
As you prepare to enjoy the beauty of this holiday, please accept this blessing.
May your feast be that of kings.
May your company be that of friends.
May your hearts be that of lovers.
Feel free to share your favorite item about Thanksgiving