By Elaine Baldwin | @elainehbaldwin
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This is not earth shattering news. What is a tad bit disconcerting to me is that I have experienced over half-a-century’s worth of Thanksgivings. Where has all that time gone and how did I get this old? I am after all the baby of the family. That should count for something!
And it does count for something. No matter how old my siblings get,
I will always be younger than them; still old…but younger!
Actually I don’t feel that old. I’m not sure what 54 is supposed to feel like, but I remember as a kid thinking anyone over 50 was ancient and soon to expire. I am very grateful that I will not soon expire; at least as far as I know. And a person is not ancient until they celebrate their 100th birthday!
My how perspectives change over time. That is a good thing. We’re told by God to put away childish things; to grow up. That doesn’t mean I have to be all stodgy and have the expression of a prune. But, it does mean I mature in my thinking, in my attitudes and in my thankfulness. But putting away childish things doesn’t always come with age nor is it always progressive.
I remember sitting around the Thanksgiving table as a kid and being asked, “What are you thankful for?” My usual answer was the food sitting in front me and the new dress I was wearing. My answers weren’t a whole lot deeper as a teen. Back then I gave thanks for friends (whoever I wasn’t mad at) and music and good times.
Then I got married and had kids. Of course now my objects of thanksgiving were much more meaningful as long as we were all healthy and we could buy the latest toys we wanted (for kids and adults) and everyone appreciated me the way they should.
And then the kids grew up and had adult style problems (I thought potty training was hard.)
Our Nest Was Empty!
At a time when God challenged me to trust Him…
I chose not to be thankful; not even childish thankful…
and my little slice of existence in this world turned gray.
I do not recommend this choice. Choosing ungratefulness is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done and by far the most destructive and paralyzing. It zapped every ounce of energy out of me and battered the brave souls who stuck with me. It is only by God’s mercy and grace that my marriage and my family survived those awful years of thankless living.
You see love and thankfulness go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. If your thankfulness dries up your love will dwindle right along with it. Oh you may be able to pretend to be thankful and have a pretense of love for awhile, but if these are not truly and deeply in your soul, the ugly truth will seep out all over everything you say and do. I know this is fact because I’ve been there and done that AND because God makes it clear that a lack of genuine thankfulness will lead to ruin.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
So on this my 54th Thanksgiving…
I Chose to Give Thanks to Jehovah God and for All His Benefits Toward Me!