A US Thanksgiving. A tradition. An annual ritual. A trip across the miles to gather again. An occasion for hugs and reunion and tears and laughter and shared memories. This tradition is a wondrous thing but, sadly, for more than a few, it is a ghastly moral obligation lest, in their absence, they be ostracized, criticized, and the topic of conversation at the table. And that’s the difficulty associated with traditions – a multitude of expectations, spoken and unspoken. The way it’s all supposed to be. The way the meal is supposed to be. The way the weather is supposed to be. The way everyone is supposed to smile and get along and enjoy each other (especially for the picture taking!). The way everyone is expected to lay aside their differences, their preferences, their soap boxes, and avoid the hot button topics which invariably lead to disagreements, frowning disapproval, and awkward silences (or raised voices, table pounding and storming off, depending on the reigning family temperament and country of origin). Let’s face it. We are a peculiar people. No family is completely homogeneous. No family is without its share of quirkiness (which, by the way, is defined as being different from moi) and varied personalities: strong and weak, soft-spoken and hard-charging, peacemakers and challengers, introverts and extroverts. When in-laws are added to the tree, these variables multiply like rabbits. As the number of generations increases at these ‘sacred’ events, so do the opportunities to appreciate learning new things – or not.
Why on earth am I prattling on like this? Well, because, for us, with our recent, laser-focus on living in, and more richly cultivating, an attitude of gratitude, we are now armed and ready with a tank load of prime choices for next Thursday (or any time in the future we find ourselves included in a similar gathering). We are divinely invited to be those individuals who, by our very presence, promote peace and harmony and gratitude – and JOY! “A person full of goodness in his heart produces good things; a person with an evil reservoir in his heart pours out evil things. The heart overflows in the words a person speaks; your words reveal what’s within your heart.” Luke 6:45, VOICE. With so many people stretched to the limit, on their last nerve, anxiously anxious about a whole slew of distressing topics, the time has never been more appropriate to put to good use all that the Lord has been depositing in us. May we be those who instigate a gratitude revolution. May it go viral. May all that’s askew in our world get a Holy Spirit-inspired chiropractic adjustment. May we be the intrepid adventurers advancing boldly into realms where no man has gone before. And smile for the camera! PD