It’s Thanksgiving week. The time that has been set aside to reflect on our journeys and express gratitude, ideally with family and/or loved ones.
But it’s not always like that. In practice, Thanksgiving has become the pre-game to all the “deals” we want on things that we don’t really need. For some, Thanksgiving is the reminder of the brokenness in our families: the cousins we can’t stand; the aunt we no longer speak to, the estranged sibling. For others, it is a reminder that they have no cousins, aunts, siblings, or parents to be angry with. They only wish for a family.
If we could take just a moment…maybe two moments to pause and consider: what a perfect opportunity to do something different?
Take a moment to first consider: we are all imperfect. We are walking insecurities, blinded by our idea of who we are, and yet we have friends and family who love us anyway. Even better news, there is Someone who knows the depths of hearts, the contradictions between our words and actions, and instead of rendering judgment, offers to love us into someone new. There is no greater love than God’s love. Not at all! What gift! What if we thought of this love everyday, and were grateful everyday. If we imagine any day without knowing we are loved and experiencing love, that seems like a dark and cold space. Everyday is an opportunity to practice an attitude of gratitude not just for our things, but for the more enduring things like our relationships, for the experience and opportunity to demonstrate love.
Who wants to go into the next year with grudges? Who wants to bring the heartache of 2015 into a spanking new 2016??? Don’t we want to think of that person we had a falling out with and literally and physiologically be unbothered? Might we also want to see how time can heal and what 2016 might bring? Well, we can’t experience any of these things if we let the opportunity to exercise love go by.
Maybe this year, you can call up that cousin that gets on your nerves and just say hey. Maybe you can at least invite your aunt who you are not speaking to or honor their invitation. Maybe you can call your sibling and just express kind words. See the best in them and speak life to them. It might take support, but remember we are all in this together. Love you!