“God teach me lessons for living so that I can stay the course.
Give me insight so that I can do what You tell me, my whole life –
one long obedient response.
Guide me down the road of Your commandments.
Give me a bent for Your words of wisdom and NOT for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the PILGRIM WAY.
Affirm Your promises to me.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics.”
Psalm 119:33-40 (The Message Bible)
The 1st Thanksgiving in our America was an attitude of gratefulness for freedom of country, freedom of worship, a freedom of faith and values for families. Looking around, it’s not hard to see that material things have replaced the important things that many sacrificed their lives for in coming to this great land of America.
Our society today has become one of material over meaningful. It is a rare thing to witness the sacrifice of material for meaningful, yet these were the roots this nation was founded upon. Over the years, these roots have been chopped at, making this once strong, God-fearing and revering nation, very surface-minded in humanism instead of deep-rooted in God.
As I share this, I am reminded of several tall pine trees that are near our home. They are beautiful and seem strong on the outside, but it has been shared with us that should a major storm hit our home, they would be the first to topple over. Pine trees are not known to have deep roots. Their roots extend about 5-6 feet in the ground and then taper off rather quickly. In a storm this would make them top-heavy, causing it to topple. Likewise, a nation that has surface roots and is not deeply rooted will be found lacking strength.
Each year many look to “Black Friday” and the mad rushes of sales on items they desire for the holiday season. This year it was moved up into Thanksgiving Day, and many took advantage of the sales. I believe the enemy stole the day away by diverting our eyes on toys and trinkets, piling up loot and forsaking the pilgrim way. Wait! I thought we associate pilgrims with Thanksgiving? What is a pilgrim anyway?
Pilgrim: a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious purposes.
Everyone’s stay here is temporary even the believer, it’s the pilgrim way. However, the believer’s journey is for the eternal. Somewhere along the line we have replaced the eternal with the temporary and believed that surface things were more important than faith, freedom and family.
As we all face uncertainty in today’s economy, let us be reminded that true treasure is eternal. Beauty fades, electronics are soon outdated, toys and fashion become fads, BUT a person with a heart and faith of value is eternally priceless.
We don’t have to succumb to the pressures of society, that’s the beauty of free-will – we get to choose, and we are each responsible for the end result of our decisions. Choose instead to build lasting treasures within your children and families that will endure the uncertain times ahead. Build treasures of hope, perseverance, love, compassion, kindness, wisdom, but most of all a faith that withstands any storm. Build a faith that when the storms of life blow hard through tragedy, criticism, and insecurity – you won’t topple over, you’ll be found to be standing strong and secure in God.
You are loved,