Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
There is a collision today between “thanksgiving” and “giving thanks.”
We are taught by our deformed tradition and commercials that “Thanksgiving” is time to celebrate all we enjoy in our daily sufficiency and safety. Not all bad, unless we allow ourselves the illusion that what we have is because WE have earned it and worked hard for it.
Recently I received an email which said the difference between the “have’s” and the “have not’s” can be traced to those who “did” and those who “did not.” The insinuation is obvious: everyone could be like me if they just would get a job and work harder. Thanksgiving becomes self-praise. But my question is: what about those who DID NOT only because they had no chance to “DO?!”
Thought: Any “self-made” person actually is incapable of “thanksgiving” or “compassion” due to an attitude of “I made it, so should you.” We see too many examples of this today in our culture, our government, and ourselves.
On the other hand, “giving thanks” is an attitude and lifestyle of HUMILITY.
As Pearl Maria Marros, professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University, reminds us: “Humility is not a stance of being passive or subservient….true humility is recognizing that our skills and talents are gifts from God….to be used, not for ourselves, but to engage in the task of building a more just society for everyone.”
That kind of humble GIVING THANKS has the power to change the world!
May this be a season, not just of selfish thanksgiving….but an intentional and consistent lifestyle of GIVING THANKS!