Thanksgiving is a self-defining holiday. It’s a time for giving thanks; more specifically, it’s a time for giving thanks to God for his provision in our lives.
Personally, I find it strange out of 365 days in a year, we have only one day set aside to give thanks.
Instead of giving thanks only one day out of the year, I believe we should give thanks every day. Unfortunately, we all too often forget or neglect to give thanks as we should.
Scripture contains a similar incident.
In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem when he’s met by 10 men who have leprosy. They cry out to him while he’s still a distance away, and ask him to have pity upon them.
Pity was something in short supply for those afflicted with leprosy. Lepers were, as a necessity, separated from friends and family, and shunned by society at large. The only human interaction they had was with other people just like them.
What did Jesus do? Did he shun them like the rest of society? Did he seek to escape their presence?
Absolutely not. Instead, he told them to go show themselves to the priests. As they went to do that, they were healed.
Then we read about an amazing thing. Out of the 10 men whom Jesus healed, only one returned to thank him.
What of the other nine men? Why didn’t they return to thank Jesus?
I don’t know. But what I do know is this: all too often, we act like the nine men, instead of the one. Too often, when God works in our lives, we forget or neglect to come back and thank him for what he’s done.
Sometimes we get upset when we hold the door for someone, or let them in front of us in traffic, and they don’t show what we think is appropriate thanks. If we get upset when someone fails to thank us for something as small as that, how do you think God feels when we fail to thank him for all the ways in which he’s blessed us?
We must always remember to give thanks to God. I’m so glad we have a holiday set aside for doing that. But is one day out of the year really giving God his due? I don’t think so.
We must make thanksgiving a daily part of our lives, not a yearly part of our lives.
The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.