Thanksgiving Musings

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “I make myself rich by making my wants few.” These words written so long ago remain an apt description of how to find happiness and contentment these days.

November brings with it thoughts of family, blessings, falling leaves and beautiful colors on the trees (take a look at the one by the FLC!). The danger is to miss out on these simple things and be swept away in a current of busyness, stress, and anxiety. Indeed, this Thanksgiving season is providing its share of uncertainty and unrest.

I’m writing this the day after the shooting in Lewiston, Maine. The number of those killed and injured would impact any community but has an even more devastating effect on a small town. Families are entering the holidays with intense grief without that loved one–there’s an empty place around the table.

The Hamas terrorist attack and ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine has brought the attention of the world upon the Middle East. There are Christians and churches in that region who are trying to be the presence of Christ in extremely difficult circumstances.

Grace Al-Zoughbi, a Palestinian theological educator said, “The church is trying to cling to any glimmers of hope it can find. The situation is deeply disturbing, the atrocities appalling.”

The holidays are an opportunity to bring our families together. We enjoy food, football, and time around the table with those whom we know and love. For some people, however, this time of year is not a pleasant experience.

I spoke with someone recently who was dreading Thanksgiving. He said his brother and sister-in-law were coming in for the holiday, but all they wanted to do was talk politics and be combative about it. Civil discourse or discussing other topics had proven to be almost impossible, and now having them under his roof would be emotionally draining and a miserable experience.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude and counting our blessings. I’m hoping your Thanksgiving is much more pleasant than the one my friend anticipated. Each one of us has within us the capacity to set a positive and grateful tone.

I’m looking forward to being with you all for another holiday season and am grateful that we can share life together. Let’s make our wants few and be grateful for what the Lord has given us–DC

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