Give Thanks!

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; To declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning, And Thy faithfulness by night,” (Psalm 92:1-2 NASB)

My husband is a man that loves the televisions shows of old. Give him a good old sitcom from the 50’s and 60’s and he’s a happy man. I think he loves them for their innocence. There are no dirty words, inappropriately dressed women, or tasteless innuendos. They are just filled with simple, clean comedy and their only purpose is to entertain. So, it’s not uncommon to hear him laughing at an episode of “The Andy Griffith” show every so often. This is his favorite show and never ceases to be amused by Andy, Barney and Aunt Bea.

One of the episodes on “The Andy Griffith Show” is about a man who is traveling through their little town of Mayberry and has car trouble. He’s a very important man with a very busy schedule and here he is, in the middle of “nowhere” with a broken down car. He’s in a hurry to be on his way. Unfortunately for him, it’s Sunday. In Mayberry, Sunday is a day of rest. There are no restaurants open. The stores have closed so their workers can have a day of rest. Any public office is shut down for the day so that the people in Mayberry can have a day off. The town literally stops for one day a week. As you can imagine, this important traveler was pretty disgusted when he could not get his car fixed promptly. He was in such a hurry trying to throw his weight and money around to get what he wanted only to find that those things were unimpressive to the people in this small town. They were more interested in having a day off to spend with their families and no amount of money could change that.

The traveler in this story spends the day with Andy, Barney and the gang. He eats a scrumptious home cooked meal made with love by Aunt Bea. And after dinner everyone sits outside, still in their Sunday best listening to Andy play his guitar. It’s a beautiful picture of peace and rest. There is no hustle and bustle. There aren’t meetings to attend or plans to make. It’s just a simple day beginning with worship and ending with rest. The traveler in the story eventually sees that he’s been rushing through life unwilling to slow down long enough to relax and become rejuvenated.

I was reminded of this episode today as I watched the commercials about “Black Friday”. In case you haven’t heard, “Black Friday” now begins on Thanksgiving Thursday. This is a day that was supposed to be set aside to express thankfulness for all of God’s blessings. It’s a day to remember the fearless men and women who got on a boat and traveled across a cruel ocean for freedom. They desired a land where they would be able to worship as they desired. And yet, here we are making the day of Thanksgiving just another day to get through. Our turkey hasn’t even digested before we are out the door again getting the next great deal or bargain. What’s wrong with this picture?

I lead a busy life just like the next person. And because of my business, I honestly look forward to my day of rest. I look forward to Sundays when our schedule slows down. I look forward to having one day in the week where I don’t HAVE to be anywhere or do anything. I am excited about Thanksgiving and spending the day with the family cooking and enjoying a meal together. I’m thankful for the simple times in life and honestly relish the thought of staying home all day on Thursday. I appreciate my time with my family.

As my children grow, I find myself holding on to the simpler times we share. I know that this Thanksgiving will come only once. I cannot relive it next year because next year everyone will be a year older. And I understand that there will come a time when Thanksgiving won’t just be a day off from the craziness of our schedules. Eventually, Thanksgiving will be a time to gather together as a family after my kids have moved out and made lives of their own. The dynamic will be completely different. Our family will be larger. And the reality is that when the kids grow up and marry, they may not be here for every Thanksgiving anymore. Their time will probably have to be split between families. I know I can’t stop time from ticking away, but I can make the most of the time we have together now.

So, for me and my family, this Thanksgiving will be a time of rest. We will sit around the table as a family and praise God for His MANY blessings. We will eat our meal and laugh and talk. We will take one day to reflect on the goodness of God and the joy of simply being together. And we will give thanks!

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