Time to be thinking about the holidays. Next one up, Thanksgiving.
It's not too hard to come up with a list of reasons to grump about the Thanksgiving holiday:
• Lots of work in the kitchen
• Lots of cleaning to do
• Lots of cooking to do
• Lots of buying food to do
• Spending time with family where the worst in people easily spills out
• Crowds in the stores as we prepare
• The stores already have their Christmas decorations out—like since Halloween
• Too much football on TV
• Too much food
But to cultivate a biblical mindset, we can take this list and turn it inside out to reveal the embarrassment of riches and lavishment of blessings that are attached to each item by invoking our own personal thanksgiving:
Lots of work in the kitchen: Thank You, Lord, that I have a fully functioning kitchen! Thank You for my stove and my oven and my refrigerator and my sink and my counters and my storage of my many many kitchen items.
Lots of cleaning to do: Thank You, Lord, for running water that is safe and tastes good. Thank you for a sink that drains. Thank You for buckets. Thank You for dusting cloths and my vacuum. Thank You for the energy to clean!
Lots of cooking to do: Thank You, Lord, for recipes. Thank You that my stove and oven work! Thank You for the various pots and pans that enable me to cook more than one item at a time. Thank You that I can store cooked things in my fridge until it's time to bring them out, and thank You for the microwave to zap them to serving temperature.
Lots of buying food to do: Oh Lord! Thank You for money to buy our Thanksgiving meal! Thank You for well-stocked grocery stores with a dazzling number of choices. Thank You for 24/7 electricity that powers refrigerators and freezers, both in my home and in the stores, which means I don't have to go to a market every single day for provisions. Thank You that I have the luxury of making a list, driving to the store, and getting everything on my list because it will all be there and I don’t even have to think about it.
Crowds in the stores as we prepare: Thank You, Lord, that all those people also have the money to be able to make our purchases. Thank You for a culture where people will wait in line instead of all demanding to be served first. Thank You for stores to go to in the first place.
The stores already have their Christmas decorations out—like since Halloween: Thank You, Lord, that we live in a place that still celebrates Your birth even if many forget YOU. Thank You for Christmas decorations period. It means we are in a country that understands the importance of Your impact on our culture.
Spending time with family where the worst in people easily spills out: Thank You, Lord, for giving us families. Thank You for people to love, even if sometimes it needs to be in Your strength because we don't like them right then. Thank You for these people You chose to be in our lives. Thank You that being with family, even if it's church family and not bio-family, means we are not alone and isolated.
Too much football on TV: Thank You, Lord, that we even have a television. Thank You for a culture and a lifestyle with the luxury of offering entertainment instead of constant, unrelenting survival mode. Thank You for living room furniture to sit in or lie on while we watch TV. Thank You that the football is only for a few days and not every day!
Too much food: Thank You, Lord! Thank You! Thank You! Millions of people are starving and cannot even imagine the abundance of food at our meal. We are so blessed for every single dish and every single item we get to prepare and serve and then eat. You have lavished blessing and honor on us, and we don’t deserve any of it. Thank You. Thank You.