Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

As I've written on numerous occasions, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's one of the few times throughout the year that I take some time to slow down and really reflect on all the God has blessed me with. Which is a shame really because I have a lot to be thankful for and should pause more often and give God the thanks He so truly deserves.

As I write this, I'm listening to U2's song Yahweh and my thoughts are drawn to not only the fact that I should be more thankful, but to how much I take for granted at times. I'm not only not thankful, but I'm often a spoiled brat. Instead of loving others as I should and helping those around me in need, I'm often more interested in just getting what I want.

I'm reminded of the old 77's song, "The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes, and the Pride of Life", where Mike Roe sings:

"Well, I see something and I want it
Bam! Right now!
No questions asked
Don't worry how much it costs me now or later
I want it and I want it fast
I'll go to any length
Sacrifice all that I already have
And all that I might get
Just to get
Something more that I don't need
And Lord, please don't ask me what for"

The gospel message is really very simple, love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. We so often try to complicate it with so much other junk. I can't help to think how much happier we'd be and how much more effective we, as the church would be if we really took a hold of this and lived it. If we stopped worrying about all our differences, our agendas, our desire to get ahead at all costs and just loved people for who God created them to be.

If we could just get rid of all the nonsense and embrace what Jesus was trying to teach us, think of the impact we could have on the world. I know it sounds like some idealistic, hippie dream from the 60's, but I guess I'm just so burned out on the so called American dream and the damage it's done to people's lives here and around the world. We so often try to equate this American ideal of individualism and getting ahead with Christianity and I think we couldn't be further off base.

God created us to walk this journey in communion with one another, loving those around us unconditionally as He loves us. But we're too often worried about what's in it for us. So I guess my prayer this Thanksgiving is that God would change the desires of my heart to line up with His desires and that I would care about the things He cares about. My prayer is Bono's prayer:

"Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don't make a fist no
Take this mouth
So quick to criticize
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I'm waiting for the dawn

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
His love is like a drop in the ocean
His love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it brave"

"Yahweh" - U2



God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving,
Dave