Thanksgiving is a little weird, right? It’s the one day a year we are required to be thankful, as if we shouldn’t be thankful every day…
But it’s also a really great day. A day filled with family, fun, football… and food! Thanksgiving is, after all, one of the High Holy Days of the Food Year! So, with that in mind, I have a recipe I want to share with you.
It’s from the Bible, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
It’s the perfect recipe for living. The perfect recipe for life. The perfect recipe for us, this holiday season:
Step 1. Rejoice always – be joyful.
Look for the positives around you. Bludgeon the negativity to death by finding and seeing reasons to rejoice. Gas prices too high? At least I’ve got a car! Everybody’s negative on social media? I live in a country where I have the freedom to disagree! Impeachment proceedings preempted your favorite TV show? I love my church!
Step 2. Pray without ceasing.
Wow! We have a direct line to our Creator! Our Sustainer! Our Provider and Protector, our Savior and Redeemer! And He listens! So use it. Talk to Him. As much as possible. Let people think you’re crazy for talking to yourself. Trust me: the more you pray, the better you’ll feel – and that gives you a reason to repeat step 1.
But let me add: don’t let “pray without ceasing” be a guilt trip, because I don’t think that’s what it means. In fact, it might help to think of it backwards: “pray without ceasing” what you’re doing. In other words, you can pray while you’re driving, pray while you’re in the shower, pray while you’re brushing your teeth, pray at your desk, and on and on. While it’s certainly good to take time out of your day to focus on prayer, don’t let “I don’t have time” keep you from praying – let prayer be a component of multi-tasking, and pray while you’re on the go in your busy day!
Step 3. Give thanks in all circumstances.
Thank you, God, that I’m alive. Thank you for my wife and my children. Thank you for my friends. Thank you for my church. Thank you for Diet Coke. Thank you for turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and Stove Top stuffing and pumpkin pie and Detroit Lions football (yes, even that!).
You see? The more you give thanks for, the more you appreciate what you have. And again, you get to repeat step 1. It’s the perfect recipe: rejoice, pray, give thanks. And I challenge you to follow that recipe on Thanksgiving Day. And then the next day and the next day and the next, until it becomes second nature. Because it’s good for you.
Rejoice, pray, give thanks.
Rejoice, pray, give thanks.
Lather, rinse, repeat: Rejoice, pray, give thanks.
And have a Happy Thanksgiving.