Thanksgiving Day is upon us. There will be some hustling around to get everything done and likely lots of juggling involved with schedules. All the family traditions will be on display. Both laughter and teardrops will grace the sharing of memories.
Then as quick as a second slice of pumpkin pie can be enjoyed the clock will announce that the celebration is over.
Black Friday will find many shifting their priorities from being thankful to getting to the mall early enough to clutch and grab for merchandise. The change in emphasis is always a shock.
Every year there are news items about pushing and shoving that erupts and escalates into violence. The behavior is not isolated to one area of the country or a single segment of the population. It transcends geography and class distinctions because it is a reflection of our common humanity.
We can embrace high ideals one day and jettison them before the next sunrise. Or sometimes we can do so in the space of a couple heartbeats.
It is one of those sad but true realities about our nature. There is always this tension within that is contrary and difficult to keep in check. If we are not careful or vigilant it can take us by surprise.
The problem is universal; it is a heart issue and we must each tend those matters by deliberately applying the precepts of Scripture, which can be reduced to words Jesus said: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”
That is the Golden Rule. It sounds quite easy to do but implementing it can be a tedious and disappointing process because of high failure rates. We mess it up more often than not, but perseverance is a good thing because taking care of our heart is crucial.
A king in ancient Israel named Solomon put it this way: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Putting the Golden Rule into action guards our heart and keeps our perspective balanced.
Thanksgiving Day is not just time set aside to express gratitude for the blessings of life. It is an opportunity to recalibrate our focus so that we can take steps to be intentional about treating others exactly how we wish to be treated. May we do so with a gusto that is contagious.