When you get to be my age, you have many Thanksgivings to reflect upon. Why is it that I remember one very specifically and it comes to mind every year? I don’t know why, but I am intrigued with why this seemingly insignificant one is always at the forefront of my thoughts. I remember the boys were young. It was during the years where I didn’t work outside of the home, but I was very busy with running a household of three boys. There was so much to do the day before Thanksgiving. Cleaning, preparing food ahead of time for the feast, and yet keeping up with the daily rituals and a few more out-of-the norm tasks since school was not in session. I remember the television being on in the background in a couple of different rooms in the house. A faith-based program that appeared several times throughout the day caught my attention but I could not sit down and watch because of the busyness of the day. A certain portion of the program was devoted to a series of praise songs – thanks. From my innermost being, I longed to sit down and enjoy … and worship. The songs were compelling … give thanks with a grateful heart … the words kept resounding in my head and ears all day long. But there was no time to sit and enjoy or participate. My soul longed to praise and give thanks, but other things demanded my attention. Finally, the boys were in bed, desserts were finished, house was clean … I was winding down too, and the program came on again. I sat down and entered into that quiet place, listened to the words, the beautiful melody, and even sang along, giving thanks to the Holy One with a grateful heart. I fed my soul – what it had longed for the entire day. It was the very best part of the day and somehow primed me for the official day of thanks. I remember the feeling deep within – a sense of peace and longing fulfilled.
Many more Thanksgivings have come and gone with family and friends, but this one stands out as a symbol and reminder. Tomorrow, when I’m restless and can’t seem to pinpoint the reason, perhaps I simply need to feed my soul. Yes, I will give thanks and remember.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1 (NIV)