Thanksgiving is kind of an ironic holiday.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Thanksgiving. It’s great to be with family and spend the day together. I love food too, so that’s good.
It’s just that Thanksgiving, this day where we say “I have enough,” now kicks off a month long orgy of ravenous consumerism where we scurry around saying, “I don’t have enough!”
A month is barely enough time for our shopping, as some black Friday sales begin at midnight on Thanksgiving. The conflict between the spirit of Thanksgiving and the spirit of black Friday is amazing.
So before we get our day of thanks over with and start our month of “I want,” I’ve got a few thoughts.
Miracles are so cliche
I don’t usually share with you what I talk about on Sunday mornings. But I will today. You might know how God provided the manna for the Israelites in the desert. That manna was pretty miraculous stuff. I’d imagine the people were pretty blown away by magic food appearing on the ground each morning (even though it was extremely perishable.) The Israelites were mumbling and grumbling that the didn’t have anything to eat, so God comes through. Bam, miracle food, suckas!
But later on, maybe a few months later, the people were mumbling and grumbling again. They were sick of the manna. Everything they ate tasted like manna. They wanted meat.
So what does God do? He answers them. He tells them they won’t just have meat for a day, or a week, but a whole month, until it “comes out of their noses,” and they hate the meat.
God’s a pretty smart deity. He knows human nature pretty well.
Eventually I will throw away every Christmas gift
It’s kind of funny. When that manna showed up, the Israelites couldn’t have been happier. But after a few days, the novelty wore off. Then, collecting the manna became burdensome. The miracle of the manna became ordinary, a cliche even. They didn’t care anymore. They weren’t thankful anymore. Soon, they began to wish they had something else. And before long, they hated the miraculous manna. They couldn’t stand it. They wanted something else. More than anything else, they want meat.
God knows that He can give the people meat. He can give them what they want more than anything else. And for a few days, everyone will be happy. Then, the novelty of the meat will wear off. The meat will become ordinary, a cliche. And soon enough, the people will grow tired of it. And before a month is over, God is wagering the people will hate what they wanted more than anything else just a few weeks before.
Some things haven’t changed, even in a few thousand years.
Right now, we have thousands of sweet toys and gadgets and shiny things being peddled to us that promise to make us happy. And I’m all about giving gifts, don’t get me wrong. But a few days after Christmas, these things that we want so bad will lose their novelty. Eventually, we will take them for granted. Then, we will wish for something new, maybe even begin to hate our once beloved possessions. And one day, every Christmas gift that is purchased this season will be thrown away with all the other trash.
Stuff coming out of our noses
I feel like God has given us what we’ve wanted. He’s told us we can have anything we want. There is no limit. Whatever things we think will make us happy, we can have, all in assorted colors and flavors.
And we have all these things in such quantity, they’re coming out our noses. Our lives are no less complex, or more liesurely. We don’t have more time, or energy, or youth, or happiness despite all the promises. What we want so badly never satisfies us. We always want something else.
This year, I’m still going to give gifts, because I enjoy it. But when you take all of the things away that are temporary, and will be thrown away, what do I have to be thankful for? The people I love, and the God who loves me.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I’ll be taking the rest of the week off from the blog, but I’ll see you next Monday.
What about you? Start Thanksgiving week by sharing what you’re most thankful for this year.