|Those are wild turkeys!|
This may be a rambling post but it's one I have had on my heart for a few days and knew I had to post.
As Thanksgiving approaches, my friends and I have been talking about where we are going and what we are doing on Thursday. Some were going out of town, some to in laws, and some were staying home. But one thing that we all had in common was that there was at least one person that we were not looking forward to seeing. The list of people ranged from in laws to siblings to grandparents (and everyone in between!) but we all seemed to have at least one person we were dreading. And as Thanksgiving approaches I had a couple of thoughts and have been convicted by the spirit to reflect on my attitude and how much I am blessed. I have two thoughts I wanted to share.
The first thing I was reminded of is that I get to choose who I want to spend Thanksgiving with. We have sort of a tradition to go to my in laws for the day but I choose to go. I could say no or fain being sick but I do have the choice to go. A picture of those serving in our military is brought to my mind. A picture of men and women who are serving either overseas, in a war zone, or (in the case of our family) stationed far from home. Those men and women have dedicated their lives to our country. They don't get to choose where they live or where they go. They don't get the chance to complain about seeing that annoying brother-in-law or dread hearing the same questions from Great Aunt Molly. I can't even put into words how thankful I am for the sacrifice they have made for us. But I can't help but feel a guilty complaining about my plans when some of them are serving so far from those they love.
The second thing that comes to mind is that as a christian I am to show Christ's love to everyone around me. I am currently reading a book called "Just give me Jesus" by Anne Graham Lotz. I am only on chapter one and I'm already in love! I could probably write a whole post about the book (and maybe I will) but I want to share a few quotes from the book that really just stuck with me. "When you and I live lives that reflect Jesus, His light in us reveals the darkness of sin and rebellion and ignorance in the world around us. This may begin to explain why your old friends have rejected you or your coworkers avoid you or your neighbors shun you. If they are living in darkness, the light in you makes them uncomfortable." Have you ever had someone that didn't like you and you just couldn't figure out why. Maybe this is why? This is not to say I'm perfect. I am SO far from it! I mess up daily! There are some days I wonder how God doesn't just give up on me. But PRAISE Him he doesn't!
Matthew 5:14&15 says "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put i under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." We are called to shine our light to EVERYONE around us. We aren't called to only share Christ's love with those who look, think, or act exactly like us. I can't help but think that not everyone in every family knows Christ. Maybe that aunt that is so annoying really just needs Christ's love. Or maybe that grandpa that is chronically grumpy just needs to hear that Christ loves him or that YOU love him. We are called to shine our light. We are called to stand out to others. To be that person that others look at and wonder what is different?
I am NOT perfect in this. I have people in my family and Mr. J's family that annoy the crap out of me. People I just dread seeing! Ask the Six Pack, some of them have heard me complain all week (and probably half the month!) about a few people on my list! Just so you know, I'm witting this post for you but I am reading it and taking it to heart too. A friend of mines husband's grandfather passed away yesterday. And I can't help but think of how short life is. I can't help but think that walking around mad or upset or disliking someone is NOT how I want to spend my life. I'm not saying I'm going to like everyone I come across but I need to show them Christ's love and the joy that He has given me.
So my prayer is that we will all remember how blessed we are this Thanksgiving. We have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on the table. My heart reminds me that not everyone has that and I need to be more thankful for all that I have been blessed to have.