We have seen many changes take place in our nation over the years, but the growth in popularity of the "Tailgate Party," has amazed me. Whenever there is a sporting event someone will throw a Tailgate Party. For those who might not know, it is a gathering of like minded friends who gather and share a meal, talk about the coming event and then watch the event together cheering on their favorite team (usually with much enthusiasm).
In the past couple of weeks I have listened as my co-workers have discussed their planned Thanksgiving celebration. It occurred to me for many it was less about Thanksgiving and more of a tailgate party. They were more interested in watching the "Big Game" (sporting event) than being with family. Some were actively planning the big day of shopping beginning late that night and the next day and Thanksgiving was just something to get through before that happened. For some Thanksgiving is just a tailgate party, for some it is an obligation, something to be endured until they can get to the game or shopping.
I'm not saying that these folks will not enjoy being with family, but not once did I hear the idea express of anyone actually being thankful for anything. Again, for many, yet I understand not all, being thankful has become of secondary importance. We as a nation seem to have forgotten why the holiday came into existence. We forget to Thank God for all he has provided and to be thankful for family and the opportunity to spend time with loved ones.
Again, I realize this is not how everyone feels, but I have been surprised to listen to those I work with discuss Thanksgiving.
My prayer is that you will remember what it is about and enjoy friends and family, but do it with a spirit of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for them, Thanksgiving to our God and Thanksgiving for our free country. As the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 1:2-3, "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you."
May the Spirit of Thanksgiving live in each of our hearts this year and always.