Friday, November 20, 2009

A Carol of Thanksgiving

Charles Dickens' famous Christmas Carol is the basis for today's post.

There was once a perfect family, in my mind. It was and is my family. (Check my profile to see facts about my family.) I love them all: grand kids, grown kids and spouses. I choose to love them; I am committed to them, each one. I forgive their trespasses and don't hold them in debt to my 'shouldas'. I forgive their behaviour and love them anyway, as I hope they do for me also. Nobody's perfect! And, most of all at this time of year, I love the way they all plan to get together on holidays and make the effort to travel if needed. For us, Thanksgiving is a priority!

A few years ago, living far away, I wanted to be with them, although they were scattered across the continent. God granted my wish and I moved closer to the bulk of them in the Pacific Northwest . . . . But I have noticed of late, that attitudes are changing and a Scrooge type attitude threatens to descended on my perfect world. Each one has his/her own life. There are jobs to get to, friends to placate, schedules to keep and dogs to board. Just as Scrooge had no time for family, no time to set aside to enjoy each other's company, no penny to spare; it seems that the care of this world has been shoving and encroaching upon my family Thanksgiving tradition. Oh, I don't mean that we no longer get together, I just mean that I see family members are not looking forward to and anticipating visiting with each other like they used to. Just as Scrooge discovered things about himself, I offer the following "ghosts" for personal reflection.

Enter ghost (verse) number one: The Ghost of the Present Culture. You know, that friend that has a scrooge-like attitude about the holidays. You know him, he is a ghost of a person, you fill in the blank. You can identify them as they thumb their nose at traditions and sentiment while they say, "Oh, that's so quaint!' with an attitude of distain, belittling your experience in favor of their, probably non-existent, holiday experience. I say: Do not be influenced by a present culture of disdain with traditional values that are deemed no longer in vogue. Remember your youthful celebrations, (your grandfather's love of a certain holiday and your mother's love of this one) and agree with Timothy:

I Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the all in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

May the spirit, love and purity of the Thanksgiving holiday continue to be a prized possession in our "perfect family."

Enter ghost (verse) number two speaking wisdom. King Solomon, who is called "wiser than all men" says:

Proverbs 17:9
"He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends."

and Peter furthers that sentiment by quoting King Solomon:

I Peter 4:8
And above all things, have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins".

Nobody's perfect. It seems some are "making contingency plans " for when this one does this and that one does that, etc. Maybe it's age, but young or old, we choose our attitudes. We choose to love. Hopefully, we choose to overlook a transgression.

Enter ghost (verse) number three admonishing Godliness. King David, a man after God's own heart said:

Psalm 37: 8 & 11
"Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret it only causes harm . . .
The meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

It only causes harm to yourself. When we are old, and lonely and wondering where our family has gone; when we have not treated our family members with respect, and love; we will one day find ourselves without anyone, alone. The thought of a dysfunctional family in their old age is the worst end to a perfect start.

I really hope that this year we can enjoy each other as a perfect family, (Roy's and all :) ---family knows), and not miss the best gift of all--my perfect family--A family that chooses to love, respect and cover a fault.


Aaron said...

Mom, thanks for the word. We could all use more encouragement and more scripture. Let's remember also that without our perfect savior Jesus Christ there is no way any one of us has the ability to forgive and be forgiven. I pray that we can humble ourselves and repent to God the Father everyday.

Looking forward to seeing you all.


Suzanne said...

Nice take on the Dicken's theme, Mom. :)

I totally agree that we have a choice in our attitudes, our emotions and our actions/reactions. That's a frequent motto in my house.

With our family, we've got to realize that you raised us to be very independent, and you did a great job of that. I think we forget sometimes that we really did come from the same family. I like to think that as different as we all are, we each have unique contributions to the family dynamic, and not one of us is a "bad egg". As long as we all realize what the strengths of the others are and respect the weaknesses we all have, we'll be doing okay.

I share your hope that we can all agree to be peaceful together and respectful of one another, as we share good food and good company. I pray that we will all make good choices to love each other, no matter what, just as our Savior does for us.