Monday, November 21, 2016

The Stuffed Chipmunk


“In everything give thanks…”

The internet does it again. I came across a chipmunk with its cheeks stuffed with food and immediately thought of Thanksgiving…

“When you’ve started eating and someone starts praying…”

And I caught myself red handed, or, at least, full-mouthed.

Ah, the dignity and beauty of human nature right here, everybody.

This time of year, as we fully get the holidays- the food holidays- underway, it’s all too easy to focus on that enormous array of food choices, to the exclusion of gratitude. Turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and stuffing all too often persuade us to stuff ourselves long before the thought of saying grace and acknowledging God comes into play. Suddenly, before we know it, if we’re completely mindless and indulgent, everyone has puffed out cheeks and no one is spitting out a “thank you, God.”

“We give praise and thanks to You, O God, we praise and give thanks; Your wondrous works declare that Your Name is near and they who invoke Your Name rehearse Your wonders.”

If only…

And none of us looks as cute as the internet chipmunk. We look selfish, greedy and ridiculous.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I understand the principle that, perhaps, one is not responsible for something until they know it. One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Maya Angelou: “When you know better, you do better.”

And that is precisely the point concerning the Thanksgiving Day concept itself; we all know better. Indeed, the “thanks” is built into the name of the holiday. We all “know better,” translation, we know we should be thankful for the blessings in our lives. But, do we honestly “do better” with that knowledge, translation, that expression of thanks to God personally?

“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

Psalm 34:1



Now, before you think I’m only pointing my finger at you, please keep in mind I also have four aiming right back at me. And, I know there are many of us out there, affected by all kinds of addictions and disorders with many temptations distracting us from saying authentic grace. I know each of us has that weakness, that craving, maybe even that “downfall.”

 Still, that should not completely eclipse our capacity for gratitude. How about being grateful for the numerous ways God has mercifully kept and spared us, in spite of us?

 “Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

“I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.”

Isaiah 63:7

Again, I’m preaching this to my whiny chipmunk self as much as I am to anyone else.

Yes, there are challenges, horrible, painful things which can befall us. That still doesn’t change the reality we have experienced God’s grace and mercy. And that should prompt at least the occasional thought, causing us to stop and reflect on the reality check blessings we bask in, on any given day.

Thanksgiving should be that ideal setting, right?

What if we took a few seconds to stop and reflect, before our mouths are full? What if we did say- and mean- “thank you?”

What if we weren’t stuffed chipmunks?

“I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.”

Psalm 7:17

All right. Now we can eat.

Copyright © 2016 by Sheryle Cruse




No comments:

Post a Comment