Friday, November 25, 2011
Ok, so I haven't done this since August. I've been a little busy, but now things are becoming more manageable and I may be able to pick up, once again, the Pen of Sarcasm just as King Arthur wielded Excaliber, and start blogging again. I've heard it said of bloggers that never in the history of humankind have people said so much to so few. That's probably true, but oh well.
I've been watching Facebook off and on the last couple days and I have to say, it does my heart good to see all of the folks who are publicly giving thanks for all that they have been given. Obviously, the most common is family. Then comes salvation, and I even saw an "ABC" method for giving thanks for that. Pretty cool, and the list continues: safe travel, the Thanksgiving feast, friends, freedoms, well you get the picture. I'm thankful for all of the thankfulness as well.
Then I'm reminded of this past Tuesday night. Being the new kid on the block in Ballard County, I was asked to speak at the Community Thanksgiving Service. Totally expected that, and I had been planning it for several weeks. I made a rookie preacher mistake, though, and had built the message, basically, around one question.
I made a quick little self-introduction, since it was the first time most of those folks had ever seen me, then moved right into the message. Since it was a Thanksgiving message, what better way to begin than to talk about the holiday, which I did. You know what I mean; the meal, family getting together, the cranberry sauce that goes "Slurp" when it comes out of the can, and then I messed up.
In my family, we have maintained a Norman Rockwell-esque tradition of going around the room and mentioning one thing we are thankful for. I assumed every other family did as well, so I asked the question, "How many of us this Thursday, in the midst of the chaos and cooking, will gather with our family around the Thanksgiving feast and go around the room lifting up one thing we are thankful for?" I thought it a fairly innocent question. I mean, after all the freakin' holiday is called "Thanksgiving."
Not one. Not one hand went up. Well, one did. My wife. But she married into this crazy family so she didn't really have a choice. I was floored. Maybe folks were intimidated by this fairly vocal, really outgoing, new kid. Maybe folks just didn't want to look the fool in front of the rest of the crowd. Maybe I was just being naive. I don't know. But whatever the reason, in that crowd of 150 or 200 people, not one person admitted to gathering with their family and lifting up one thing they were thankful for.
I don't know what to do with that. Admittedly, it totally blew my momentum, but we recovered and a good night was had by all. I have to say, though, the response of the crowd haunts me.
Has Thanksgiving really just become Black Friday Eve, or are we truly still a thankful people? I believe we are. So...I am going to accept that Tuesday night was just a fluke, probably because I got up and scared the hell out of some folk, let this go now and keep doing what I do.
Next year, I'm going to give thanks for TWO things.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with thanksgiving.