November 26, 2008

Cry 'Havoc' and let slip...

JCPenney will open at 4am on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I predict in two or three years, many stores will open at midnight on "Black Friday". If you want to be there when the doors open, you won't have a chance for a full night's sleep after celebrating Thanksgiving Day. How many of us will become convinced sleep is unimportant relative to getting the "best deal" or the "lowest price"?

In the meantime, I am focusing on carrying forward gratitude and thankfulness.

Psalm 118:21 says: "I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation."

Isn't it a little audacious for anyone to assert "God answered me"? Aren't we just naturally a little suspicious of those who say "God spoke to me"? How many times have we observed or learned of someone who "heard a voice" and did a bizarre, deadly, or dangerous thing? Is this really something for which to give thanks?

Still, the psalmist celebrates that connection with a personal God who wants to communicate with His creatures. If you love someone, you want to hear from them and you want to listen to them, spend time, and just share togetherness. Why would an intelligent Being create sensible, sentient creatures and not communicate with them?

Parents sit on floors and play blocks with their children. How many of us need to know how to build a block tower? Probably no adult really needs to know this. Why do we do it? We do it because we enjoy that time with our children, nieces or nephews, grandchildren, etc. We do it because it's a time of sharing and love and laughter and fun. The blocks are incidental; it's the time together that matters. It's the talking and listening and laughing that make the rest worthwhile.

Early shopping hours can be nice, gifts are good, yummy dinners are great, a houseful of guests (can be) fun, but "I will give thanks, for you answered me..." In between keeping the galaxies in place and making atoms spin at the right speed, you answered me.

Thank you.

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