Someone has said (again, please help me source it if you can) that if you have a wildly successful career but have a miserable family life, you will be miserable. And if you have a miserable career but have a happy family life, you will be happy.The line reminds us that although we think of career when we hear the word “vocation,” both the Bible and Luther, when they discuss the doctrine of vocation, primarily emphasize our callings in the family (husband & wife, father & mother, son & daughter). And yet we often neglect or take for granted or under-appreciate our families, often in the name of carrying out our careers.
Thanksgiving is hailed as a family time, and yet many such family gatherings are marred by arguments, rivalries, put-downs, and hurt feelings. If we are to judge from TV shows and popular journalism, such dysfunctions are normal, even typical.
I understand that not everyone has a loving family, but if you don’t. . .do what you can, don’t contribute to the misery, and try to forgive each other! Consider that even if your father and mother are not the greatest, they did bring you into existence. Be thankful to them and for them for that, at least. And, hopefully, for much more.
Realize this Thanksgiving how husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, uncles & aunts, cousins, grandparents and grandchildren are all gifts of God to each other.