I’ll have to admit I was a bit horrified when Dad reached his hand inside the lifeless bird in the sink and pulled out a long, bony, flesh-covered piece of something or other.
Then he reached in again and pulled out a little bag containing, well, I didn’t know, but it wasn’t natural. Then he placed all the items in a small pan and began boiling them. What? I didn’t get it, but I didn’t have to. All I knew was we were just a few hours away from a Thanksgiving feast fit for a king.
Thanksgiving was one of the few times the entire family pitched in without grumbling over whose turn it was to do what chore. We each had a specific job, and every one of us eagerly jumped in to do our part. As the youngest son, my job was to make the Jell-O. It seemed kind of boring, so I added walnuts, marshmallows and assorted items from around the house. I can’t remember if anyone ever actually ate it, but I thought it was cool. One year I added bread pudding to my list because it required cracking eggs and using the oven, something which made me feel incredibly grown up.
I think what I liked best about Thanksgiving was the lack of pomp and circumstance. It was simply a time to get the family together, eat a big meal and express our thanks to God for how He had blessed us during the year. There were no presents, no lights, no glitter, no flashy hoopla — just gratitude and a fully satisfied stomach.
It is amazing how quickly times change. Mom and Dad are both gone. My brothers live in different cities and my job has been elevated to “Official Turkey Carver.” I find myself standing by the turkey each year with the electric knife in one hand, sneaking bites with the other while looking up just long enough to see my wife and daughters doing their own chores, and I am reminded that I am blessed beyond measure.
Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of things I could complain about. My vehicles are old and ugly, my house could use some work, money often seems tight and it wouldn’t hurt me to lose a few pounds. But there is something about November and Thanksgiving that puts everything in perspective each year. God has richly blessed me. In all honestly, I lack absolutely nothing.
I encourage you to take time this holiday season to count your blessings and express your thanks to God. If you don’t have a good Bible-teaching church home, this would be an excellent time to find one. After all, there is no place like a church home for the holidays.
Pastor Dan Hudson
Sunday: 9 and 10:30 a.m.
Meeting at Johnston