Thanksgiving – What It’s All About
It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving. The time where families get together, carve up a nice, big, juicy turkey, cook up a huge feast full of everything from cranberry sauce to dressing to pumpkin pie, and watch football.
The turkey is the centerpiece of this feast. Supposedly this all began when Queen Elizabeth of 16th century England was chowing down on some roast goose during a harvest festival. Word came to her that the Spanish Armada had sunk on its way to attack her beloved country of England. She was obviously pleased at this news. So pleased, in fact, that she ordered a second roast goose to celebrate. So, the goose became the favorite item at the yearly harvest. When the pilgrims came to America, turkey replaced the goose because they were in much more abundance, and easier to find. Now, this is only one of several stories that I have found about why we always have turkey at Thanksgiving.
Not only do we have turkey, but we fulfill our gluttony on other foods like cranberry sauce, dressing, chicken n’ dumplin’s, mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing…the list could go on and on. Most of the time, we have to have at least a little bit of everything so that by the time we’ve tried it all, we’re stuffed so full that we can’t eat any pumpkin pie. So all we’re worth at that point is to lay on the couch and watch football.
Ah, football. Yet another Thanksgiving tradition. What would Thanksgiving day be without the Cowboys or the Lions? I personally don’t care much for either team, but they have both become a part of the Thanksgiving tradition. It just has to be there to make the day complete. After all, football is part of what Thanksgiving is all about!
…or is it?
So, truly, Thanksgiving has been centered around food the entire time. The Pilgrims, when they came to America, barely survived at first. They immediately went through a harsh, devastating winter. By the next autumn, they had lost nearly half of their number. The harvest that year, however, was a plentiful one. So, they decided to celebrate this harvest, along with a group of Indians that helped them survive the harsh winter and to grow food throughout the spring and summer.
Ultimately, without God, survival would have been impossible. The Indians could have easily killed the Pilgrims in their weak state and kept the land as their own. The Pilgrims could have never found any help, and simply wandered around and died through that winter. God put everything in place for them to be able to survive, and ultimately flourish in this new great land.
So again, I’ll agree that food has a lot to do with Thanksgiving, but it is much, much more than that. For, without God, we are but lost and wandering in every aspect of our lives. God provides so much for us, that many times we take it for granted. We have so much to be thankful for, far beyond what we eat, what we wear, or where we live. The simple ability to be able to get up out of bed on my own each morning and walk on my own two feet is a blessing from God. How often is that taken for granted? To keep that in mind keeps things in perspective. I’ll never be able to thank God enough for what He has done for me.
Let’s see this day for what it really is. An opportunity to slow down and reflect on the things God has done for us, and to give Him thanks.