Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving... Now Guilt-Free!

It is soooo predictable. Here comes Thanksgiving so the reporters run in front of cameras to make sure we know the latest breaking, surprising, shocking news:

1. Thanksgiving dinner has a lot of calories in it.
2. People tend not to exercise much on Thanksgiving.
3. It is possible/probable that you will gain weight.

While this is going on, the intrepid reporters will flash back and forth to other stories:

1. Soup kitchens and shots of the homeless NOT having Thanksgiving dinner.
2. Obese people pushing carts through supercenters at the crack of dawn on Friday.
3. Somebody's getting hurt on Friday in the crush of crowds.
4. Somebody is going to fight over a toy that the kid won't remember by January 15th.
5. More homeless people.
6. Politicians jumping in front of the cameras to feed 4 or 5 people before the cameras move
on and, thusly, so do they.

What are we to make of all of this? Should we feel terrible and guilty for scarfing down the odd bit of fowl, pecan confections, and sweet potato caserole (that is 54% brown sugar and nuts)?

Nope. Not a bit of it. God has blessed us and we will enjoy it and thank Him profusely. Yes, we are concerned about the hungry and we will feed them every chance we get, but He intends for us to enjoy the gifts He gives us. I would as soon feel guilty for having good weather, loving a good woman, laughing with my son, or enjoying worship at Rochester.

No way. I'm going to enjoy it all. Calories? Who cares? I figure if I eat extra pecan pie and stuffing there is an even better chance I will never spend a day in a nursing home. Eat what you like and then stroke out too soon to be shelved and forgotten by family? Cool. I can do that.

I'm not going to crowd the stores on Friday but if you are, have fun! Brag about your bargains and your parking lot battles. Go back and eat more leftovers.

But thank God for His provision. He is good even when there is no food on the table. But when He gives you food -- don't let the devil steal your joy. And don't let the smarmy TV reporters do that, either.

7 Comments:

At 11/21/2005 06:23:00 PM , Blogger That Girl said...

Thank you, God for a life that is richer then I deserve! ...and thank you for my food!

 
At 11/22/2005 08:36:00 AM , Blogger Scott Gampp said...

One tradition we have started at Sunshine Church of Christ is "Thanksgiving Sunday" - the Sunday after Thanksgiving - where we ask four non-staff members to speak about how God has blessed their lives for the past year. It is one of the most moving worship services of the year. This year we will have a large fellowship dinner following morning service. I just want to take a few days to float in the blessings God has poured upon me and my family.

 
At 11/22/2005 10:53:00 AM , Blogger David U said...

Like you, I am truly blessed! I plan on enjoying every moment of His blessings with the greatest blessing of all.....family.

God is good!

DU

 
At 11/22/2005 11:21:00 AM , Blogger Lovell's Lookout said...

I love non-religious preachers. YOu are so refreshing.

 
At 11/22/2005 04:16:00 PM , Blogger Laurie said...

Patrick and Fellow readers:

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to you! Be blessed and Be grateful.

In Christ, Laurie

 
At 11/23/2005 07:36:00 PM , Anonymous maragen said...

I am not trying to steal your joy (really) but your comment about stroking out got to me. If I knew that stroking out would assure my death, I wouldn't concern myself very much about ever having one. The thing is, strokes are cruel. My Mom's uncle had one and spent the last 19 years of his life in an insane asylum. When he first had it that was the only place suitable to put him for long term care because he couldn't walk or talk. I don't know if there were other issues beyond his physical care that put him there or not. My Mom always had a fear of a stroke because of his experience.
She had one the night before Thanksgiving in 1996. For the last 5 years of her life she couldn't walk or talk. She was a prisoner in her own body. She cried a lot. She died about a week after Thanksgiving in '01.
Now for the rest of her story. She was a Christian. In those 5 years she laughed as much as she cried. (She may have laughed more than I realized because with stroke victims they sometimes do the opposite of what they are trying to do!) She had lived without the use of her right hand all of her life because of a birth injury. Because of this she had learned at an early age about adapting and perservering. She would pull herself with the one foot (her whole right side was paralyzed) in the wheelchair in the nursing home and collect the eating utensils on the table after a meal and scoot herself over to the kitchen and deposit them there to help the workers.
You could just see her shine from within that prison she lived in. A young man who was a new Christian carried the Lord's supper to her every Sunday after church. After her death, he made the statement that he could see Jesus in her. That made him closer to God and strengthened him as a Christian. It was so amazing to me when I saw how God had used her in spite of the condition she was in. I will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal with my family and be thankful for it. The rest of the year I will continue to make them miserable by saying "It's good for you" or the opposite! Thanks so much for being there.

 
At 11/29/2005 08:29:00 PM , Blogger extremist said...

Patrick,

When I was in high school, we used to go to Waffle House during the all-you-can-eat hours in the evening and consume shameful amounts of food. We joked that this was our "cancer prevention program."

The reasoning went something like this. In all likelihood, either cancer or heart disease will get you in the end. Cancer is a long and painful death, but a heart attack relatively quick and painless by comparison. If you live long enough, you will get cancer. So, why not go for the heart attack?

Having since seen family members go through open heart surgery, I realize how young and stupid I was. Still, I think you're right. There's nothing wrong with thankfully enjoying God's blessings once in a while.

 

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