Surviving Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving thoughts inspired by the fourth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. “Rejoice in the Lord always!” Not in the Seahawks. . . definitely not always in the Seahawks. Infrequently, maybe? But “always” is the Lord’s.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” But again, not in the Seahawks. Not always, nor again in the Seahawks.

“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.” Don’t fight with Uncle Earl this year. Please, don’t fight with Earl. Don’t bring up the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street, or Ron Paul, or any of the other topics you love to bring up. “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” Including all of us, who do not want to hear you argue once again, with uncle Earl, at the Thanksgiving table. “The Lord is at hand.” He’s right next to the gravy, and He does not want to hear you argue with Uncle Earl either.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Therefore, do not be anxious about the turkey, nor the stuffing, nor the lumps in your mashed potatoes. Do not fear the reproach of Aunt Alice. Aunt Alice will complain, no matter what you do. No matter how well you fix the turkey, prepare the stuffing, and mash the potatoes Aunt Alice will be there to remind you of your inadequacies. Dissatisfaction is Aunt Alice’s dish and she will bring this dish to every family gathering.

“Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” He understands your grandmother’s cooking. He understands that you are endangering your digestive tract by consuming her undercooked, microbial petri dish of a casserole. Be strong and courageous. Take a small portion, make your request known to God, and trust that He will protect your innermost being.

The early church martyrs were thrown to the lions; you can endure a tainted pasta salad. Maybe not, but God will see your sacrifice, and count you blessed as you spend the wee hours of the morning kneeling in the bathroom.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” In other words, spend time at the kid’s table. Talk to your nephews, nieces, and cousins. Make sure you ask them questions about their lives. Give them your best energy and the most time. Let them interrupt the football game. Make sure the kids have permission to be loud and childlike.

Oh yeah, and one more thing, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Follow the Apostle Paul’s advice. Seek your heavenly Father’s perspective as you travel to grandma’s house. Seek your heavenly Father’s peace before you enter the room. Ask the God of love, grace, truth, and mercy to guide your steps this Thanksgiving. And be thankful that God dearly loves you. Especially when Aunt Alice notices the lumpy gravy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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