Dr. Wayne Shaw
Pastor, First Christian Church
One of our family Thanksgiving traditions is to go around the table and have everyone state what they are thankful for. Predictably, family is always a big one. Good grades made the list this year. I heard about another family that had a similar tradition. They would sit around the table looking at the Thanksgiving bird, each expressing their thanks. When it came his turn, the five-year-old began by expressing his thanks for the turkey, saying although he had not tasted the turkey he knew it would be delicious.
After that he began expressing thanks to his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey. Then he gave a long line of credits to a whole multitude of people who had made it all possible, linking them with cause and effect. He said, “I want to thank the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I want to thank the grocery store people who put the turkey on the shelf. I want to thank those who brought the turkey to the store. I want to thank the farmer who raised it and made it fat. I want to thank the man who made the feed for the turkey.”
Using his Columbo-like little mind, he traced that turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then he solemnly asked, “Did I leave anybody out?”
His little brother, who was growing impatient, hungry and embarrassed by all this simply said, “God.” Without missing a beat, the five-year-old responded, “I was about to get to Him.”
Certainly we need to be thankful for the food, family and friends and the myriad of other blessings we enjoy day in and day out. But let us never forget the One who made it all possible, the Good Lord Himself. Without Him we would not have these blessings. Without Him we would not even exist.
Harriet Martineau was an atheist. One morning she and a friend stood outside beholding the beauty of a glorious fall morning. The brilliant sun was peaking through the haze, and the frost covered the meadow, and the brightly colored leaves floated softly to the ground. Harriet was so thrilled with the beauty that she said to her friend, “I am so thankful. I’m just so grateful for it all.”
To which her believing friend asked, “Grateful to whom, my dear?” That’s a good question at Thanksgiving. (Well, any time for that matter.) If you’re grateful, if you’re really thankful, the question is, “Grateful to whom?”
As a Christian we know who to thank, the One who makes it all possible. “Praise God from whom all blessing flow. Praise Him all you creatures here below.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17
Don’t just be thankful for things. Be thank to the One, “Who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Tim 6:17