In Flannery O’Connor’s short story, ‘Greenleaf,’ one of the characters says, ‘I thank God for ever’thang!’ That’s a pretty solid theological approach to Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for, and I try not to take anything for granted. I have a wonderful (albeit long-suffering) bride who inspires and loves me, daughters who make me enthusiastically proud, and a dog (Zimbabwean Cattle Retriever – Crested) who adores me. I’m not going to say anything about the cats.
But when we have blessings, we also have those annoying, tenacious responsibilities. I have excellent health as a gift, but I also try to be wise in exercise, nutrition, and rest (especially rest). I have a great job, but I need to keep trying to be a better professor. You get the idea.
But there’s another element in life for which I give thanks, a cause for thanksgiving that I can do nothing to improve. And that’s God’s grace, His unmerited favor.
So while Thanksgiving specifies a national day to pause and count our blessings, and that’s fine, shouldn’t we be doing that every day? Do we need someone to tell us to be thankful? I hope not.
Mr. Greenleaf’s joyful exclamation needs to ring true for all of us. And, like him, I thank God for everything. Happy Thanksgiving!