I hope this isn’t too personal, but I always seem to have at least one pair of jeans that I have to refer to as “breathing optional.” When my children were younger, I remember wearing a pair of the death jeans more than once and having to instruct the kids with something like, “Okay now if Mommy passes out, nevermind the CPR. Unbutton the jeans.”
I would’ve been wise to add the warning, “And do not look directly at the top button.” One bad thread and that thing could launch. I’m telling you, someone could lose an eye.
I’m thankful every time I wear the danger-jeans without any incidents of unconsciousness or assorted maimings. So hey, I guess if nothing else, at least the jeans do prompt thankfulness.
Thanks-prompting is such an integral part of life. Parenting especially. Over the years with my five kids (now ages 17, 19, 21, 22 and 25), I wonder how many times I said the words, “What do you say?” in that sing-song motherly voice. Like a teleprompter only with audio. If you’re a parent and you’re wondering if you’re going to have to prompt your kids forever, I’m sorry, but the answer is yes. Just for fun I asked one of my twenty-somethings the other day, “What’s the magic word?” Know what the answer was? “Abracadabra.” I so should’ve prompted more often.
Ever find your personal worship time feeling a little trivial—not as joy-filled—but you can’t put your finger on why? Maybe a thanks prompt is in order there too. Sometimes in those times of listlessness we discover that we’ve neglected that important part of entering into worship. In Psalm 100:4, the psalmist gives us some “keys to the gates” of worship, so to speak. We’re told to enter his gates with thanksgiving. He’s referring to the gates of the temple that represented God’s high and holy presence. The people were to enter into the presence of their holy God through the gates “with thanksgiving.” Again, Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving.”
Thanksgiving can open a door that leads us into deeper, more genuine worship. As we give thanks to God, we remember his faithfulness, his love, his provision and so much more. Through thanking him, we find our focus moving from the things we think we need or the things we want God to do to a simple place of relishing what he’s already done and recognizing areas where he’s already so graciously at work. We’re moved to love and adore him all the more. Extraordinary things happen in the presence of God through our thanksgiving.
So let’s let the season be about more than just eating a boatload of turkey and even more pumpkin pie. We can let it remind us of his presence and the privilege and power in thanksgiving.
There’s sweet worship there.
Incidentally, the whole turkey and pumpkin pie thing does nothing good for the jean situation. I would sigh heavily about it but I might launch a button.
RHONA RHEA / Pathway columnist