I love Autumn. It’s my favorite season. The beautiful and vibrant colors of the trees and foliage. The clean, clear blue sky. The crisp cool temperatures. Sweaters and crackling leaves. Campfires and cozy blankets. Warm aromatic soups and breads. And Thanksgiving. Friends and family gathered around sharing life together. Good food. An all-around warmth of fellowship and togetherness; a time to reflect and remember and just be in the moment, the season, of being thankful for more things in our lives than we can really count.
And yet, we live in a time where the season of giving thanks is almost completely skipped over by media, entertainment, commerce; even our neighborhoods. The stores go from Halloween decorations to Christmas decorations almost before the end of October. Christmas music and movies are playing regularly within the first week of November. Black Friday deals and advertisements are out before mid-November, and many stores start their sales on Thanksgiving day. So when do we really take the time to actually stop in fellowship and contemplation for all we truly do have to be thankful for?
This holiday season – this Thanksgiving – let’s be purposeful in living the season in its turn. We’ll get to Christmas; it comes next. But let’s not miss the Thanksgiving season. Let’s purpose to notice and experience Autumn. Let’s purpose to gather together with the ones who mean so much to us – the ones we desire to do life with and fellowship with and love. And let’s purpose to live out thankfulness each day, not just for a couple of hours on the fourth Thursday of November. It’s no mistake that the Lord’s word mentions some version of the word “thank” over 130 times.
We all, yes, all, have something to be thankful for. If nothing more than “God really does love ME”, that’s a pretty amazing thing to be thankful for. But I’m willing to bet we could all give quite a list of thanks if we purpose to focus our hearts and minds on thankfulness. What are you thankful for this year?