Twenty-four hours ago, I was seated with my family and friends around the Thanksgiving table. Now, I am seated in my chair and cannot move. I won’t say I ate too much yesterday. I did, I just won’t say it.
Why is it on Thanksgiving we give ourselves permission to gorge ourselves to the point of semi-consciousness? The difference between consciousness and semi-consciousness is that with semi-consciousness you feel like you have been run over by a semi-truck.
Of course, a great thing about Thanksgiving is the fabulous dinner spread, surrounded by family and friends. It is truly a time to give thanks to God for the manifold blessings he has showered on us throughout the year. Although there have been a few drought times during the past year, God’s showers of blessing always came at the right time.
Thanksgiving Day is for the diet-challenged person. Nothing is more challenging to me than my diet. And of this in particular I am most grateful for Thanksgiving. It is the one day of the year I can toss caution to the wind (which is the only exercise I get on Thanksgiving) and forget my diet carefully supervised by the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
It is not that I take advantage of the situation … OK, so I do take advantage of the situation. However, that is the glorious aspect of holidays like Thanksgiving. The person, me in particular, can get away with things that the rest of the year would be impossible. And I’m not just thinking of that second piece of pumpkin pie.
The second great thing about Thanksgiving is the day after. The business community refers to this day as Black Friday. They mean, of course, it is a day when they turn their ledger from red to black.
Whoever invented the shopping frenzy associated with the day after Thanksgiving should be congratulated and offered the Nobel Peace Prize. Black Friday in our home is when my wife and our daughters leave the house early in the morning to spend the entire day shopping and I get the opportunity to black out for the entire day. If I may say so, it is a glorious day of loafing.
The feast like we usually have on Thanksgiving Day requires at least one full day of concentrating and allowing the meal to digest, no matter how long it takes. The older I get the longer it takes my digestive system to complete its work. My philosophy is, don’t rush the process.
I’m all for cooperation. I believe this world would get along much better if everybody would just cooperate. I set the example by cooperating with my digestive system for the entire day.
I have found the best way to assist my digestive system is to spend the day loafing. And I have managed to bring loafing to a finely developed art. It has taken years for me to get to this point of expertise. Throughout the years, I have developed the finesse associated with total loafing that should be recorded somewhere.
My expertise in this area is most remarkable for the simple fact that I only get to practice this one day out of the year. I can assure you that one day is intensely devoted to the strenuous activity of loafing.
If you promise not to let this get back to you know who, I do get in an odd day every now and again to practice for this day. Nobody can reach the pinnacle of success I have on this matter without some kind of practice throughout the year. I am completely devoted to my art, as any other artist would be.
In case someone gets the wrong idea about all of this, let me assure you that loafing has certain health benefits. Of course, if I am caught practicing my loafing when my wife has instructed me to do some things around the house, it has an adverse effect on my health. The key here is to practice loafing when your wife is out of the house shopping the entire day, which is why Black Friday was invented.
It is a proven fact that most of the people in our country today are overworked and totally stressed out by their lives. In spite of all the technology available to us, we are a nation that has forgotten how to rest.
Years ago in our country, when we were more Christian than we are today, we set aside Sunday as the day of rest. That has completely gone by the wayside as we became a culture of 24/7 activity. The only solution all our experts have come up with is to pop a pill and keep on going.
A friend of mine has a marvelous saying, “Either come apart and rest a while, or you will simply come apart.” I like that.
Jesus said something similar. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV.)
We have learned how to feast and our buffet table is loaded with goodies. Perhaps it would be a good time to take some time to rest and let our soul settle and digest the rich blessings of God.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, Fla.