November 23, 2022
Cathi and I went to the grocery store last night. I’ve read the reports that 55 million Americans are traveling this Thanksgiving. Don’t believe it. They are not traveling, they were in the grocery store last night, at least the one that we were in. You know how it is. You plan your schedule according to your to-do list. You do not plan to go to the grocery store for 3 hours and find that 47% of the items you are looking for are sold-out and if you want to purchase the things you did find, you have to wait in a line that is longer than one at Cedar Point. “Oh, this shouldn’t take too long.” Ha!! No, it shouldn’t but it is taking longer than Methuselah to pick a retirement plan. So, instead of waiting in those lines, I made the brilliant decision to pay for two grocery carts of groceries using the selfscan checkout. That meant for the next 23 minutes the voice of the scanner kept criticizing my scanning skills and my packing skills and my placement skills and my coupon skills and…well, you get the idea. I had visions of what I wanted to do to this scanner but realized that you did not want to see your pastor on the 11 o’clock news being cuffed by the police for scanner abuse. Now, this morning, we have to go back out to find the things that we couldn’t find last night, only to find that everyone else who couldn’t find those same things are doing that as well. (Actually, Cathi had to go out. I am finishing a sermon and writing this blog.) All of this for what!? Thanksgiving.
Giving thanks shouldn’t be so hard, or complicated though, should it? But it happens all the time. We set aside time in order to do something important, but the very things that we do end up distracting us from the very purpose we were doing them. If I am not careful, I will define Thanksgiving as accomplishing my tasks and expectations instead of simply giving thanks. Perhaps you have a lot going on and an intimidating list of expectations. Like me, you may be tempted to not give much thought to what it is that you are actually thankful for. So, take a deep breath and think: - Do my blessings larger outnumber my complaints? By a longshot! - Am I better than I deserve? Oh goodness, yes! - Can I ever be separated from the love of God? Absolutely not! So, yea, I still can’t believe someone bought out all of the Pillsbury biscuits, but in view of what I am thankful, it really doesn’t matter.
Join me tonight for our Thanksgiving Eve service where it will be decidedly more cheerful than the checkout line at the grocery store.