In Canada, we are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend. People will be busy travelling to visit loved ones and kitchens will be filled with the aroma of a wide variety of eatables being cooked for Thanksgiving dinner. There is a lot to do in getting ready for the feast.
Turkey – check
Stuffing – check
Mashed potatoes and gravy – check
Cranberry sauce – check
Turnip – oh do we really have to? All right then – check.
Pumpkin pie – check
Don’t forget the whipped cream! – check
And don’t forget to wear your “turkey pants” – you know, the ones with the elastic waistband so that you don’t have to unbutton and unzip your pants after you have pigged out!
But as you and your loved ones gather around the heavily laden table, I would urge you not to forget what should be the most important item on your checklist – and that is to thank God “from whom all blessings flow”.
Maybe you don’t have loved ones or a table full of food to enjoy. Maybe you are thinking that you don’t have much for which to be thankful. I can understand that feeling. Some of my days have felt so bad that all I could think of thanking God for at the end of the day was the fact that I actually survived another day.
During those difficult times, the times where I really couldn’t think of much to be thankful for, I decided to challenge myself by thinking outside the box. I decided to try and look at things from a different perspective. I decided that if I didn’t have the usual things to be thankful for, I would look for unusual things to be thankful for. Here are some of some of the things on my “thanking outside the box Thanksgiving checklist”:
1.Toilets – I don’t like cleaning toilets, but in the middle of the night or if it’s raining, or winter, I am very thankful that I have an indoor flush toilet. I am so thankful that I don’t live someplace where raw sewage runs down the middle of the street in front of my house. Thank you God for indoor plumbing!
2. Toilet paper – Have you ever had to use a magazine page, piece of newspaper or even a leaf to wipe your nether regions? Or even worse, had nothing at all to hand? As an outdoor enthusiast, I have been in such “sticky” situations. When I’m at home, I am so thankful that I have toilet paper and that I don’t have to cut up the Sears Catalogue. Thank you God for toilet paper!
3. Dirty dishes – I hate washing dirty dishes more than I hate cleaning toilets! Dirty dishes are like rabbits – they keep on multiplying! No matter how many times you wash the dishes, if you turn your back – poof – more dirty dishes! BUT – I am so thankful that I have a wide variety of pots and pans to cook with and dishes from which to eat because I have seen that millions of people in the world literally don’t even have a pot to pee in and I have seen them using rusty tin cans and even leaves to try to scoop up what little food they have. And speaking of food, I am thankful that I have access to a wide variety of nutritious food that makes my dishes dirty. Thank you God for the food that makes my dishes dirty and for the dishes with which to cook and eat.
4. Cleaning the ring around the bathtub – there are times where I think that the Cat in the Hat must have been using our bath tub for the ring that sometimes decorates our tub! Being middle-aged, my aching back and knees don’t really appreciate having to kneel and bend over while I scrub the barnacles of the sides of the tub. BUT – those creaking knees and aching back sure do appreciate being able to relax in a nice hot bath that is bigger than a laundry basket and for which I did not have to chop and split wood, light a fire, haul water from a creek or well, boil said water on stove and carry by the pail-full up to aforementioned basket-sized tub that sits in an unheated room! So, thank you God for indoor plumbing, hot running water, full-size bathtub and centrally heated bathroom.
5. Dirty laundry – I live in an apartment and I don’t have a washer and dryer in my unit. Nor, does my building have an elevator so I have to carry heavy laundry baskets down and up (and down and up) 2 flights of stairs to get to the laundry room. So washing dirty clothes is not a favourite past-time of mine. BUT – I am thankful that I have a wide selection of nice clothes, appropriate for the weather conditions, with which to cover up this “middle-aged spread” of mine. And I am grateful that I don’t have to beat my clothes on a stone in a dirty river to try to wash them. Thank you God for the clothes on my back and the clothes in my closet and for electric washers and dryers.
6. Vacuuming – I have married the “crumbiest” guy I have ever known. I will never lose track of him, because wherever he sits or walks, he leaves a trail of crumbs behind! I also have a white cat who is doing her best to make us a fur rug in the living room. Whenever I grumble at having to haul around the vacuum, I remember that there are many people who only have a dirt floor to call their home. Thank you God for solid floors with warm carpets.
These are just a few examples of how I try to “Continue in prayer and watch in it with thanksgiving,” Col 4:2
And if you find that you are in a difficult place in your life and feel that you might not have much to be thankful for, remember the following:
Php 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you also are called in one body, and be thankful.
I challenge you to thank outside the box this Thanksgiving.
I pray God’s mighty blessings upon you and your loved ones. Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Rev 7:12 Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.