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Have you ever seen the old classic Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special? Poor Charlie decides to host Thanksgiving dinner for all of his friends. All he has to offer, however, is toast, popcorn and other assorted non-traditional Thanksgiving fare. His friends, especially Peppermint Patty, are beyond upset that there is no turkey, or stuffing or pumpkin pie. By the end though, what they all realize is that it isn’t the food that mattered as much as the fact that they were all together, and they could be thankful for that.
Now, you might be wondering why I would be writing about Thanksgiving. By the time you are reading this, Thanksgiving will have been past us at least a week. Like Charlie Brown and his friends, we can get caught up in some of the things we most often think of when the holiday approaches: the food, football, the food, no school, the food (well, you get the picture). With all of these other distractions, we may forget to actually take the time to be thankful for the blessings we have in our lives.
Putting Thanksgiving day aside, the other reason I am writing about a holiday that is already over is because for us as Orthodox Christians, shouldn’t we be thankful on more than just one day out of the year? Shouldn’t we be thankful to God for the blessings we’ve received every day of our life? There’s a powerful anonymous quote that reads: “If the good God makes every day a day of giving, should we not make every day a day of thanks?” How true that is. God never stops giving to us each and every day of our lives. So we should never stop being thankful to Him either.
Every morning or every evening when we pray, we should stop and think about the blessings we have: our family, our friends, our health, our Church. The world is so focused on the negative, that it is up to us to try and focus on the positive. You don’t need Turkey or football to reflect on your blessings and offer up thanks to God.