The last few years I have seen my social media celebrating 30 days of Thankfulness throughout the month of Novemeber. I have not seen a single instance of that this year. This year, I have seen it filled with vioence, rioting, name calling, sarcasm, and, on the more positive side, pleas for peace.
Looking back, it has not just been this month either. 2016 has been filled with unrest. In many cases, it seems like we have traded our gratitude for fear. Now that we come to one of the biggest holiday seasons of the year, we find ourselves with too little to celebrate.
Does that sound too naïve? Is it wiser to push aside gratitude to make more room for fear and anger? Do we enjoy freedom more when we use it to push others down? I don't think so. I think we should look back to the beginnings of this holiday and remember that it was two separate groups of people that banned together in peace and cooperation (Here I'm thinking of the generosity of the Native Americans to the Pilgrim colonists). Or perhaps we can remember that it was created as a national holiday following the Civil War, when our nation had been torn apart by incredible violence and strife. I imagine that first national holiday was hard to swallow for many people.
I wish I had good answers for the people of our nation and the chaos we have endured throughout this entire year. I don't understand how thousands can gather to celebrate a baseball team one week and storm the streets in anger and hatred the next. But this much I do know: we will lose our community if we give up our gratitude. Our nation will not split in two - it will simply shatter until it is everyone for themselves. Gratitude is the true food of family and the crux of community and when we lose it, we lose everything.
So this holiday season, what are you grateful for?
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”
Psalms 118:1 NLT
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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