Choosing the Best Part on Thanksgiving.
“I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week” a friend said. I started panicking. I have all my shopping to do I said and I have to come up with my menu for the day and on and on and on, I went. When I thought rationally about it, I realized that sometimes we really forget what is important in life.
I remembered the story in the Bible when Jesus visited the home of Martha and Mary. Martha was busy working and making sure everything was perfect, whilst Mary sat at Jesus feet, listening to him. Martha asked Jesus, don’t you care that my sister is sitting at your feet whilst I do all the work? And Jesus responded, “Martha, you are so worried and pre-occupied about the unimportant things of life, Mary has chosen the best part, and it will not be taken away from her.”
How many of us are so preoccupied with making our homes and dinner tables so perfect that by the time our guests arrive, we have no energy to even entertain them. We are exhausted from putting up a perfect meal. And woe betides our children if they leave anything out of place or mess the dinner table, we quickly show them our displeasure and tell them off.
But isn’t Thanksgiving really about the love between family and friends and giving thanks for our blessings? Aren’t we supposed to enjoy the company of the family that we work so hard for all year round? And shouldn’t we take time to say thank you for our friends, who sometimes are really the family we got to choose?
This thanksgiving, let’s decide to really choose the best part.
1. Focus on what’s important
Just think about it, when you look back at the time you spent with your family or friends at a party, an outing or any celebration, do you really remember the décor or the China plates the meal was served in? Don’t you rather remember the laughter, the love you shared, a look between loved ones and the love parents show their children? That is really the best part. So by all means cook and clean and prepare a wonderful meal but don’t let all the preparation consume you. Relax! It’s all about the love and laughter we share.
2. Give thanks always.
One of the ladies I work with who is working on Thanksgiving Day said, “I really don’t mind that I’m working. I’m thankful and grateful every day anyway.” That was profound for me. The default setting for most people is to complain about everything from the weather to their spouses and teens and their jobs etc. There was an article in the AARP magazine about Oprah, and she talked about how every night she journals and writes down five things that she’s thankful for every day. I’ve since adopted it. It’s amazing how that shift in mindset just makes you a happier person. There’s so much to be thankful for, when we take the time to sit and think. That is really choosing the best part, and it in turn brings the best out of us.
3. Choose the Best part when enjoying your meal
The thanksgiving meal is truly enjoyable with the ham, the rolls, the turkey and various sides and desserts. It really is a meal fit for a king in most households, but that does not mean that we should over indulge ourselves. This is really not our last meal, so we should choose the best part and do everything in moderation. Enjoy your meal. It’s not necessary to engage in gluttony to feel like you’ve had a good day. By all means, eat, drink and be merry but all within reason. Our teens watch how we behave and learn from us, so even in this we have to be careful to do what’s right.
4. Spend your time and money wisely
Thanksgiving has become so commercialized that many families rush through their meals to go shopping. Now we have “Brown Thursday” in addition to “Black Friday.” Wow!! Here again. Choose wisely. By all means take advantage of the sales to buy what you need but not at the expense of the time you have with your family and friends. Take advantage of the sales and buy what is on your list, at a discount. That is certainly choosing the best part. But don’t rush out there and buy anything and everything simply because it’s on sale. We are the first role models for our teens and that includes money management. We should teach them not to spend money they don’t have and certainly not on what they don’t need, simply because it’s on sale.
This thanksgiving, I hope families decide to choose the best part and focus on their abundant blessings rather than on what they don’t have. I hope they take the time to look each other in the face and smile and laugh and appreciate the love they’ve been blessed with, the gifts of friends and family, the beautiful fall colors all around us, the abundant meal we get to partake of and yes even for the sales we have to buy our needs. Thank God for the opportunity we are given each day to choose the best part.
Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, — a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.