Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
Everything seemed bigger then. I liked being a kid. I know there were times I didn’t, but overall things were pretty cool. For one thing, there were few responsibilities. There was always someone bigger and more important than me to handle things. I didn’t worry about where the food came from, who was going to pay the electric bill or what would happen if the wrong person got elected and lived in something called the White House. My house happened to be white, so my world centered around that white house. Of course, there were only three channels to tell me about the world outside my small world so, yeah, l liked being a kid.
When I was a kid, the holidays were just a big thing and the two at the top of the list were Thanksgiving and Christmas. These were the mammoths of all holidays. Thanksgiving, of course, came first and was like the kickoff for the Christmas season. Thanksgiving meant that it was ok to start doing Christmas stuff. Now days that has been assigned to the Fourth of July. Smile. But anyway, these two special days shared two things that made them special. They were all about family and they were all about food. Family and food. They were big then and they are big now.
Of course, big was relative…not relative like my grandmother or my Uncle Hardy…but relative in the sense of perspective. You see, as a kid, everything was bigger. A while back I went back to where I was raised. The house, though slightly remodeled, was still there and about the same. But when I saw it that day, I remember thinking how small it seemed. I mean it was never big, but it certainly seemed bigger. The difference wasn’t the house but how I saw it. Enter Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was so exciting because it meant that anyone who was related to the Taylor tribe was going to be somewhere together. Most often it was home…the white house on the corner of Carlton and Wheat. It was a big deal because we had quite a big tribe. Momma and Daddy had eight kids and they probably would have had more but I think they finally figured out what was causing it. And everyone came home.
And then…there was the food. Momma would cook the biggest turkey we could find…usually right around twenty-five pounds. There would be dressing, plain and oyster, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, ambrosia, and a bunch of other stuff. There would be several kinds of pies including the infamous “minced meat pie.” Best I could tell that was a pie for the adults because I think it really had meat and only an adult could like that. Then after the vast spread was spread, we would all gather around the kitchen (we wouldn’t fit around the table) and someone would pray…usually my oldest brother because he was a lay preacher. And then…we would eat…a lot.
From my kid perspective it was good, and it was fun. I probably didn’t think much about what giving thanks was all about. I mean, my big brother talked about being thankful when he was talking to God in the prayer, but really, I probably didn’t get the whole thanksgiving thing…then. But now, well, I certainly understand it more. As I grew up and some of that responsibility that my parents bore fell on me, I began to understand. When I started to realize that things I took for granted didn’t just happen, that they took hard work and a lot of love, well, I started feeling grateful. The more I understood, the more I appreciated all that my Momma and Daddy did for me as a kid. They worried so I didn’t have to. They provided so I could have food to eat, a place to sleep, clothes to wear and a life that was…fun.
So, this week, I’m going to remember and be thankful. I’m going to do my best not to grumble about what I don’t have and choose to be grateful for what I do. Somewhere this week I will play the role of my big brother and pray, and I will thank God for all the blessings He has given to me and my family. This week I will celebrate that there is food to eat and family to enjoy…just like when I was a kid. God is good…always has been, always will be. Paul, the guy who wrote most of the New Testament Bible said, “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I think he was telling us to be sure and celebrate Thanksgiving, not one day, but every day. Oh, and when you are thanking God for being God be sure and thank Him because, each day and every day, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne