Thanksgiving is tomorrow.

tgiving-family-dysIn case you didn’t know, this is the day where we pause to give God thanks for all we have before we rush out and wait to buy more stuff we want on “Black Friday.”

Was that harsh?  Did I go too far?  Is that jumping too personal, too quickly?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

But it certainly brings up a point we need to remember when we gather with family.  And that point is the “good word” found in Proverbs 26:17

 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

Grabbing a stray dog by the ears is a certain way to inflict pain on everyone involved—and yes, this means you too.  And we read that first part of this Proverb and think how dumb it would be to find a wild, hungry, stray dog and grab their ears.  But then we go sticking our noses where they don’t belong.

Holidays are complicated.  Thanksgiving especially.  We typically surround ourselves with family that we probably don’t normally spend a whole lot of time with and prepare feasts costing exorbitant amounts of money and hope the attenders survive the holiday.

No family is perfect and few families are absolutely dreadful, but most families have certain subjects that are best left out of our holiday festivities.  My family contains several theological nerds—I’m one of them.  And “they” say there are two things you shouldn’t discuss: politics and religion.  We discuss both. 🙂

But we all know there are certain things we don’t need to get into unless we want a family feud on our hands.  So how dumb would I be to throw one of those “atomic bombs” into the mix in the middle of Thanksgiving?  Pretty dumb.

And that’s the point of the Proverb: don’t rush into fights that aren’t yours.  In the case of family get-togethers, it would mean don’t rush into fights that aren’t yours to fight right now.  Keep the peace.  Don’t “grab a dog’s ears” unless you want to get bitten.

This doesn’t mean you are a doormat.  It means you’re wise and focus on all you have to be thankful for.  Which—we all know—is a lot.

Perhaps it might help you to think through and commit to paper those things you do NOT need to bring up at tomorrow’s festivities.  Not because they don’t ever need to be addressed, but it would cause needless strife on a day marking thanks.

I pray you have a wonderful thanksgiving filled with laughter and joy.  For those of you spending this Thanksgiving far from family and friends, may you find the joy of being thankful that you have friends and family to miss in the first place.

We thank the Lord most of all for the gift of eternal life!