Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It seems like it’s the complete package for me. My busy family taking the time to gather together. Deep family traditions. Great food and drink. Watch the Lions lose (former Detroiter- can’t help it). No gifts to mess things up. Afternoon nap. Fall weather. It’s just a great package- isn’t it?
Seems like we can easily reflect on how we are blessed at Thanksgiving. Surrounded by family and friends, the love just seems to flow on this holiday. As you reflect on the previous year, you forget the struggles and the pain of the past. The disappointments of life. The things that really matter seem to stand out. They just seem to get larger on Thanksgiving. Why don’t we feel like Thanksgiving every day? What stops us from having the grateful heart and joyful spirit that covers us in waves at Thanksgiving?
I believe that one of the major culprits is comparison. We just can’t seem to separate ourselves from it.
Remember when you were a kid and you had to break the candy bar in half? There was always a big effort to make it the same. Exactly the same. Seem like we are born with a sense that things have to be fair and equal.
We are seeing a great rebirth of the fairness principle in our world today. There is a greater awareness of inequity, I believe, due to the fixation of this concept in the media. The reality is that things have never been fair. And they will never be fair. There have and will always be people with much and people in want. There will always be people with more than you have, and less than you have. And much of our efforts to “level the playing field” has resulted in bad consequences- much of which are the direct opposite of what we are trying to repair.
Comparison destroys. When you see someone else with more, and you desire what they have, it will drive you crazy. Like a thief in the night- it will steal your joy. What you don’t see, as you compare, is the added responsibility that comes with the package of abundance. You miss that the folks with a lot of stuff are generally not any happier than people who have little. You covet and the anger from the inequity burns inside of you.
What to you get from it? You get misery. You get discontent. You get bitterness.
At Thanksgiving it seems like, regardless of where we are on the scale, we seem to get a pure view of what we have. The gifts and abundance that God has blessed us with. Family. A spouse. A home. A job. Friends. You really can see it and we smile. We cry. We give thanks to the Lord for his blessing and provision.
So, how do you keep the joy flowing once Thanksgiving is over? I say dump comparison! It’s a thief that wants to turn your heart to stone. Be thankful every day for what you have. Even in the midst of the struggle. Even when things are tough. Remember the way you feel on Thanksgiving. And send the thief away!
What do you think? What are some ways that you stay focused on the blessings? Don’t be a stealth reader! Click on “Leave a Comment” and tell me what you think!
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