"Don't spoil what you have by desiring what you don't have; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for." —Epicurus
(Norman Rockwell "Traditional Thanksgiving")
Today, in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday begun in 1789 by our first president, George Washington. In Washington's proclamation the president stated: "this is a day of national thanksgiving and prayer." It is a day for us to gather in remembrance and gratitude for all the blessings bestowed upon each of us, and for us, in prayer, to unite with our Creator as the one who has bestowed these blessings we now celebrate.
Thanksgiving traditionally begins that time of the year when we celebrate family, joy, peace and traditions as we head down the road to Christmas Day and later to New Year's Eve/day. During this time I recall those special moments shared as a child; and now, as an adult, I again see that same joy, wonder and amazement through the eyes of the children in the family, and now, in their children's eyes!
Remembering our past and viewing the present through the eyes of children hopefully returns us to a time when, in our innocence, we had a sense of awe and wonder about life. To once again ignite in us an already existing yearning to believe in things we may no longer believe as adults.
On Thanksgiving Day, many of us will be in a spirit of joy, peace and thankfulness. We recall all that we have, and cherish those with whom we have gathered. All is right in the world, until Friday arrives, the unfortunate other "holiday", aptly termed "Black Friday".
I am well aware of the origin of the term "Black Friday" in that it refers to the bottom-line budgetary profits for businesses selling goods. But, due to the behavior of many shoppers, "Black Friday" is aptly termed. Don't get me wrong, I am not against consumerism nor capitalism. I too benefit from an economy based on people spending their money. My concern focuses on our perspective and intentions. Do the material goods I want take priority in my life? What are my priorities in life? Does family and faith come first or my desire to acquire material things? In Christian scripture we read about Jesus speaking on the topic of money and material goods, not that Jesus is against money and possessions, rather, Jesus challenges us to keep a proper perspective. In other words, do we put faith in our God or our possessions? What is more important in our life; our money and objects, or family, our God, and sharing with those in need?
This Thanksgiving challenge yourself to have faith in family and your God, foregoing the materialism of the season. Discover how you can spread a sense of wonderment and awe we had as a child. During this holiday season, live in a sense of wonder, joy and peace. In the moment, be "child-like".
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