Monday, November 24, 2008

Where are the thankful giving hearts?

As the years go by there seems to be a trend about this time of year. A trend to skip over Thanksgiving, over Advent, and jump straight to christmas. In years past stores resisted putting up christmas decorations and items until after Thanksgiving, radio stations played everyday music til at least Thanksgiving. But now stores have skipped Thanksgiving and some even hand up christmas products before Halloween was even over. A radio station in Detroit started playing Christmas music on November 1st, nearly two months before the holiday, and every ad on TV, the radio, and the paper seems to be about christmas shopping and products. It is interesting that the richest and most greedy population on Earth are the ones who have decided to skip over there own holiday Thanksgiving and go onto a more tolerable holiday of self indulgence, greed, and selfish desire.
Writing on how christmas has lost its meaning in America is a very long and drawn out topic, and is for another time. No, for now is the time of Thanksgiving, despite what the media tells us. It is time for American's to give thanks for what they so abundantly have. It was pointed out to me by a charity worker that even the poorest of the poor in America get more to eat, clean water to drink, and shelter than a good part of the world, I think he said a number even as large as 75%. To realize that even our poorest, most destitute citizens are richer than 75% of the world! And we skip over giving thanks and demand more!
Our economy is shot, we are all afraid of losing money, all our savings, being unable to support our dry houses, our clean water, our daily supply of food. Oh how terrible it is to be an American today! What we as a country spend on our venti half caf lattes a year alone could end world hunger if not more! And yet we think we have a right to pray to God to save our economy, restore our fortunes and save us from actually living thankful lives. Because no, we do not want to give thanks, we do not want to admit that what we have is a gift, we want to believe that we achieved it all on our own, that we are strong enough, smart enough, independent enough, that we do not need God or His gifts.
I am not saying that wealth is inherently bad, or that we deserve the crisis we are in, but I am asking us to return to reality. To realize that we are blessed above every other nation in the world by God, and because of that we have responsibilities. We have responsibilities to give thanks, and to properly use our wealth. God gives gifts not because he wants to please us, but because he wants to teach us to give. We all are nothing on our own, we all have nothing, and so we cannot give on our own. It is only by God's mighty grace that we have anything to give. God desires us to become like him, to become loving, to become full of Life through love. When we hoard and store and turn our backs on the world we sink deeper into sin, deeper into our selves, farther from God and deeper into death. God desperately desires that we would turn outwards, acknowledge the gifts we have been given, giving thanks everyday, and as a corollary to share those gifts with others spreading God's love and grace. And maybe, just maybe we will find that when our hearts are turned outwards and we give more than we want, and we thank more than we whine we will find that God gives so abundantly that we cannot hope to give it all away, that we will find that His Love, His Life is a boundless spring which seeks to permeate the universe with infinite Glory, infinite majesty, harmony and joy. God desires so much more for us than we have, if only we would cease to cling to the clay sculptures that adorn our hearts and let the refining fire of God's grace and love fill our heart's instead. It is my hope and prayer that I can live by my own words, but only by the help of the One who came to help the helpless, and bring the dead to Life. To God be the Glory, Father Son and Holy Spirit now and forevermore. Amen.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I appreciate sleepingawake's comments to return us to reality in this country. I have no real contention against the entire import of what he said.

But, I wonder if we U.S. citizens should keep calling their nation, "the greatest nation." Are we really?? I hear it all the time from the news, from friends, and from family. What does it really mean to be the greatest nation?

Are we really the greatest nation on earth?? Perhaps that phrase is no better than the Barnum & Bailey plug("The Greatest Show on Earth"). This nation has too many problems to consider. Moreover, its problems are not reduced to the past 8 years as so many people consider. The problems of North American soil cover the whole gambit- from ideological to meteorological.

Our problems are the culmination of things past. Probably a lot of it stems from world-view. If we consider the 20th century alone, we should reconsider our brazen assertion that we are the greatest nation. What that century has left us today does not seem very encouraging. Naturalism is steeped into our education system. Marxist Socialism is a widespread school of thought amongst our schools, particularly colleges. And Christianity is so muddled these days that one has to embark on a nearly secluded study to get to it.

But that is only on the ideological scale. What about the disasters that strike? We had several massive hurricanes devastate most of the southeast region of the United States a few years back and if there isn't a fire in Southern California, there's flooding. The midwest suffered severe "freeze-overs" last year and the east coast is hardly safe from terrorist attacks. That basically leaves us with the North Central and North West regions- but those are not exactly paradises either.

Although I didnt go into much detail here, I just think we should really call to question our idealist slogan of "America being the greatest nation."