Today I want to share a Thanksgiving story with my readers. It is not an original story. I have read that Don Evans, a professor of philosophy at the University of Wales, told one version of this tale but I have read other similar stories. I am taking liberties and creating my own version. I think there is a good lesson to be learned from the story and I have created it to be applicable for the Thanksgiving holiday. Please read with me.
The table is prepared for a Thanksgiving feast. It is time to gather together and give thanks to the Lord for His provision during the past year. Looking at the abundance of food upon the table, it seems that God has been faithful to provide above and beyond all that has been needed. First, there is a cornucopia filled with fruits and vegetables as the table’s centerpiece reminding everyone of the harvest season. The golden turkey is the other focal point upon the table but there is also an abundance of other dishes including mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, squash, cranberries and probably a few other items. The table is laden with delicious food. Twelve people are to be seated around this table, so there are twelve place settings of plates, glasses and silverware. The unique thing about the silverware is that the handle of each fork is so long that a person cannot pick it up without hitting the person beside them in the head. A person cannot manipulate the fork in order to place food on it or get any food into one’s mouth. Hmmm. What can be done? All this delicious food and no way to eat it! Finally, the family discovers that one person can take the long fork and place food upon it from the plate of the person sitting across from them. Then they are able to feed the person across the table as well. The food is devoured and stomachs are filled, but most of all, everyone has a new appreciation for the person sitting across the table from them. They are thankful for food but they are also thankful for relationships with aunts, uncles, cousins, children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents.
There are two things I learn from this story. First, I want to be sure to not just feed my face and stomach during our Thanksgiving dinner. I desire to feed upon the fellowship that we share as we gather around our dinner table. Secondly, I want to be ready to receive what others offer to me. I don’t want to just take the platter of turkey from the person I am sitting next to, but I want to be aware of and thankful for the fulness of my life resulting from the love of family members with whom we are celebrating this holiday.
This story also reminds me of the gratitude I have for family members who have helped me during the past year. I am thankful for food but most of all I am thankful for family. The Lord provides all! I will enjoy the delicious food that will be on our Thanksgiving table, but even more I will treasure the love of the family members seated around our table. I may not need to be fed by my daughter who sits across the table from me, but I will be grateful for the memories of meals she has previously prepared for us this year. My grandchildren who range in ages from 8 to 15 no longer need me to feed them, but I am blessed when they come to visit us and take time to share a meal with us that I have prepared.
As we all celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, may we take time to thank the Lord for His faithful provision. He provides gifts of family and friends as well as gifts of food. My Reader, what are you most thankful for this year? I encourage you to take time to give thanks to the Lord and also to express your appreciation and love to the people surrounding you this holiday.