“Said the little girl as she asked for more, ‘But what is the turkey thankful for?'”
I learned this funny little rhyme when I was young. It has stuck with me all these years not only because it’s short but also because it’s profound. To see an experience from another’s perspective is a rare and wonderful thing. And as we look forward to gathering around tables laden with food on Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember that there are those less fortunate around us. Turkeys have nothing to be thankful for this time of year, do they? They are customarily the primary feature of our family feasts. But we would run out of fingers and toes if we tried to count our blessings!
‘Tis the season of fullness, isn’t it? More like overstuffing! Not only the glut of food we will likely enjoy but also calendars brimming with holiday activities, televisions blaring with footballs games and Christmas commercials, mailboxes overflowing with catalogues and solicitations, and stress levels reaching seasonal highs. We seem to suffer from a certain amnesia this time of year. We forget that we have limitations. We don’t remember last year’s crash and burn. We fail to pay attention to the expenditure of resources both financial and emotional. And we forget to see the holidays through any lens other than our own experience. What do the homeless have to be thankful for? And the lonely, the grieving, the newly-divorced, the recently-fired? Will we remember those around us who do not suffer from the overstuffing we enjoy this time of year?
What would the season look like if our thanksgiving centered not on turkeys but on spiritual fullness? Doesn’t the Psalmist say “My cup is so full it spills over!”? Thank God! The words in the letter to the Ephesians pile up on the page: “I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers.” Wow! Blessings abound! More than enough to share!
So what are you thankful for?