Last weekend, I made the mistake of entering a craft store full of frantic, pre-Black-Friday-deal shoppers. A kind employee helped plow the aisle so I could reach the two items I needed, and after thanking her, I retreated to the check-out line as quickly as I could.
Sure, the ribbons, dizzying displays, and sparkling bows are pretty, but too many people get wrapped up in the “stuff” of celebrating and miss out on the gravy (i.e. the best part).
What don’t I want to miss this Thanksgiving holiday?
Here are my top 10 goals.
- Be thankful for what I have and content with what God’s given (easier said than done).
- Spend quality quiet time with God.
- Celebrate simply with my favorite people. Bring on the card tables and paper plates, both of which are niece and nephew friendly.
- Get on my hands and knees to play with my nieces and nephews who are growing up way too fast.
- Enjoy simple pleasures. For me, this might be a bonfire, a sunset, a hot Vanilla Chai tea, or a book next to a fireplace. (This Florida girl gets cold easily!)
- Prioritize my time to spend on “legacy” project work.
- Revisit my 2016 goals and start planning ahead for the New Year.
- Go running in the sunshine. If you don’t enjoy running, do whatever physical activity suits you; just don’t be a couch potato.
- Eat in moderation.
- Hope to do most of my Christmas shopping online and avoid crazy shoppers.
Ordinary Choices, Eternal Perspective
Perhaps you’re thinking: Kristen, that’s a nice list, but it’s not especially spiritual (minus the quality time with God part). I thought this blog was supposed to provide biblical perspective?
In one sense, I would agree with you. I haven’t listed my Bible study group, service projects, or outreach programs; and those activities certainly have their place.
However, I am becoming more and more convinced that when we seek to make God first in our lives, our ordinary choices take on an eternal significance. Let’s take another look at that list:
- Be thankful for what I have and content with what God’s given. Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have …”
- Spend quality quiet time with God. Jesus modeled this habit, as recorded several times in the New Testament, when he rose early and spent time with the Father (Mark 1:35).
- Celebrate simply with my favorite people. Did not Jesus Himself enjoy time with his close friends, like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (John 12)? Remember also that He celebrated the Passover with his 12 disciples, not all of his followers.
- Get on my hands and knees to play with my nieces and nephews. Jesus welcomed little children to come to him (Matthew 19:14). Enough said.
- Enjoy simple pleasures. Mary could have spent all her time busily working in the kitchen with Martha, but she chose instead to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42).
- Prioritize my time to spend on “legacy” project work. God has given each of His children gifts and abilities to use (I Corinthians 12). Whatever your gift, don’t waste it.
- Revisit my 2016 goals and start planning ahead for the New Year. James 4:14 reminds us that our time here is short. I want to spend my years well. Don’t you?
- Go running in the sunshine. Our bodies are God’s temple, and we need to take care of them (I Corinthians 6:19).
- Eat in moderation. Proverbs 25:16 advises, “Eat only as much as you need (NKJV).”
- Hope to do most of my Christmas shopping online and avoid crazy shoppers. If Amazon.com had been available in biblical times, the wise men might have purchased their gold, frankincense and myrrh online to save time and reach Bethlehem a few days sooner. It’s a theory anyway.
What are your Thanksgiving goals? I invite you to share in the comments below.
Don’t get wrapped up in the “stuff” of celebrating and miss out on the gravy. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)
10 Thanksgiving Goals – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)