Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Thanksgiving Table

The Thanksgiving Table is the secretly disguised super hero of Thanksgiving and the turkey is the side kick. Afterall, it's that table that holds everything we need. Table seats the treasured (and almost always clothed) people in our lives. Table rests under shelter lovingly provided by an ability to work, to earn or perhaps it has been gifted. Table is adorned with provision of edible sustenance. Maybe the sustenance came from a can that came from a box donated by some people who bought their side kick fresh for $80 from Whole Foods.

Actually, water should be the side kick, not turkey....the turkey is more like the fat funny guy in the story. The hamster from Bolt. But water? How many people have ever awkwardly taken their turn to say what they're grateful for and pronounced "WATER". I can live long enough on water for a turkey egg to hatch. But most of the time, I'm just annoyed the wine provided for this special occasion isn't a better vintage. The water is not only not appreciated, it's dripping sweat is making an ugly ring on the pretty table cloth. Remove its boring wetness from my table of luxury!

But seriously, I'm becoming more and more convinced that Thanksgiving is the most holy of holidays. No character to worship or special song to sing, just recognition. Taking the focus off of self, and re-cogni-zing. Becoming cognizant (mindful of something) different than your normal thought process. Hence the 're' at the beginning of the word. Another word for remember. Ann Voskamp says when we remember God's glory, gifts and grace, we re-member ourselves to Him.

Tangent alert: Maybe if the people in New Orleans had been more grateful for Water, God wouldn't have had to flood them with it......just sayin. Just read this: "Buchanan discovers in Romans that the heart of wickedness and godlessness is that: a refusal to glorify God. It's the refusal to thank Him." But wickedness doesn't only live in the witchcraft store on Bourbon St. "All the wickedness in the world begins with an act of forgetting."

Messy people with hard lives and hard hearts forget less. Clean and freshly washed people forget easily so they have much to remember in order to re-member themselves as part of His family. When you have nothing else, water, shelter, love, clothing, food and Jesus are remembered with a glad heart.

If my Grandmother has ever been angered, the fuel for her fire is my forgetfulness. Forgetting how much I have, forgetting how little I actually need. Come to think of it, that is the catalyst for my momma-rage too. Those selfish little people forget to count their blessings and be grateful in all circumstances. Lord, forgive me.

If I am resourceful enough, I should be able to use the forgetfulness of my children to remember my excessive and extravagant list of things to give thanks for. Instead of falling into angry sin because they left food wrappers, dirty socks and a half eaten pickle on the couch......perhaps I can smile and give thanks for the fact that my kids can locate, retrieve and unwrap food for themselves. That I am rich enough to afford bags of convenience food which pacify my kids and prevent them yelling "MOMMY, GRIND SOME BARLEY AND BAKE SOME CRISPY BREAD SEASONED WITH EXOTIC SPICES". That the socks are so plentiful and affordable that a pair or eight laying around the house doesn't mean the potential onset of gangrenous disease but only means I might get to use my fancy front-loader......OR....even better....I can make my non-quadriplegic, fully sighted, and only border-line MR kids do it!

Could my blessing be that in showing my kids how to give gratitude for un-brushed teeth because we have the knowledge, tools and fresh water with which to do it, that they might respond (another word for Worship)to God's provision of these wondrous white things? And might that spark the wonder of learning about teeth? And might that turn my pickle-leaver into a dentist who donates services to orphans who never learned to floss?

Can I give thanks for angst? If so, how do I then teach self-discipline? Is the only self-discipline needed, the discipline to be thankful? If they are grateful for the food and the teeth and the socks, will they naturally care for them better?

I have so much to learn. Thank you Lord for the wise teachers in my life.


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