John Madden’s famous six legged turkey is being prepped for Thursday’s NFL postgame show.
Church signs are splashed with Thanksgiving themed bible verses (which, let’s admit, is a welcome change from most church sign content).
Facebook walls are awash in “thankfulness challenges” and clipart quotes about turkeys and pilgrims.
My kids Thanksgiving school crafts adorn the refrigerator door.
Charlie Brown is once again convincing himself that he can actually kick that football.
And retail stores are filled with….well, who are we kidding? They’ve been decorated for Christmas since Labor Day.
Thanksgiving is here! It’s hard to ignore. It’s everywhere. But can I be honest with you? I’m sorta tired of being thankful. Yeah, I am. I’m just going to take a few minutes here and call it like it is.
Thankfulness is hard.
You know why? Because thankfulness forces me to accept that I’m not the source of things. That there is something bigger than me. That all my blessings, my relationships, my resources, my opportunities, my food and shelter, my creativity, my inspiration, my parents, my kids, my friends, my coworkers, my money, my successes, my joy, my purpose, my identity, my meaning, my very next breath…
All of it.
Every. Last. Bit.
Is a gift to me.
And I hate that. No, I mean I really do.
I. Hate. It.
I don’t want to be thankful. Thankfulness means I’m in need. I’m needy!? Who wants to be in need? I mean, come on, really?! I want to be the author, the creator, the origin, not the recipient! I want to be in control, to be strong, to be powerful and put together.
I don’t want to be thankful. I want to be thanked.
Yet with every passing year, I become more and more aware of my true makeup. I am weak. I am broken. I lack. I need help. Geez, doesn’t that sound empowering?
Or is it?
In some great gospel paradox, with every downward step I seem to find myself rising higher. With every admission of inadequacy, I find myself growing stronger. With every acknowledgement of brokenness, I find myself a little bit more whole. With the loss of self-made meaning, I find more of my true identity.
Such is the mystery of grace.
So perhaps I’m not actually tired of being thankful. Perhaps I’m just tired. Tired of pretending to be put together. Tired of acting like I’ve got it all figured out. Tired of trying to be the central character of my own story. Tired of striving to become my own savior.
The strength, and control, and peace, and connection, and wholeness, and power I so desperately long to construct can only be created when I stop looking for it inside of myself.
I was made to be thankful.
So let’s eagerly humble ourselves this Thanksgiving, and find our greatest joy in our need to give thanks.