It seems that with every passing year the fourth Thursday in November has less to do with thankfulness and more to do with consumerism. That trend is most dramatically illustrated in the morphing of the holiday name from “Thanksgiving” into “Turkey Day.”
I remember a few years back the first time I heard Thanksgiving referred to as “Turkey Day.”At first, I was taken aback by the reference, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to feel that “Turkey Day” might be precisely the right name for what we used to call Thanksgiving.
Of course, we could also call it Football Day.
Or perhaps: Black Friday Eve.
And now that more and more stores are staying open on Thanksgiving to get a jump on the pre-Christmas business, maybe we should just start calling it Black Thursday.
I know I may sound as if I’m ranting against others, but as I look at myself I can often see a profound lack of thankfulness in my own life. It is very easy to look at the state of the world and be anything but thankful. The world’s economy is in shambles. Young men and women are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is political uncertainty all around us and the increasing threat from countries such as Iran.
What’s to give thanks for, anyway?
It’s when I’m feeling like this that I remember my favorite Bible verses. They come at the end of the book of Habakkuk. When the prophet Habakkuk faces the impending destruction of his own nation by the Babylonians, a destruction that is coming as a direct result of God’s judgment, he says: “Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines. Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food. Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will rejoice in God my savior. The sovereign Lord is my strength. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He enables me to walk on the heights (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
It is when things are darkest that we must give thanks. For only thanksgiving removes our gaze from the circumstances and lifts it to the Lord of the circumstances.
In this week before Thanksgiving, take time to lift your eyes to God and thank Him for all the good things in your life.
Don’t celebrate Turkey Day this year.