Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday set aside for remembrance. A time to reflect on God's goodness and be thankful. This was its original purpose as a holiday as designated by Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Aside from the commercialism of our day, it can still be just that. People can wring their hands and lament the degradation of the holiday as a time of gluttony, drunkenness, and consumerism, or simply be thankful and content.
Our nation still affords us the opportunity of free choice and many other freedoms.
Many years ago, I worked as a janitor at a large church during the Jesus Movement days. One of the young pastors was having a rough day. He sarcastically asked me what my purpose in life was and why I was happy.
Though I knew it was sarcastic, I answered him with the following Bible quote—
...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Phil 4:11-12 NIV)
We were big on quoting Bible verses in those days, but this was what I read in my morning devotions that day. We laughed about it, yet it rang true.
Since that time, I recall the simplicity of my faith then. It's what I choose to remember.
When I am thankful, I'm content, and because I'm content, I'm thankful.
I realize Thanksgiving Day is not a happy time for everyone. It can be a lonely and sad time, while others ignore it altogether.
But the truth of the Scripture above reminds us that our circumstances shouldn't dictate our disposition. I choose to be thankful and content.