As the weather gets cooler, school schedules find a rhythm and hunting season starts, the pace of life as a whole seems to slow down in Texas. Leading up to Thanksgiving, we have the chance to especially reflect on God’s provisions and blessings of another year.
Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a big deal. My family would head to the small town of Georgetown, Texas, to celebrate with our aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, sharing a big potluck-style meal. As my grandmother, aunts and mom would gather in the kitchen to prepare the meal, my cousins and I would play football in the backyard. Meanwhile, the older men would be watching football inside, putting off our pleadings for them to come throw the ball with us in the yard, but then they always eventually agreed.
I was blessed to have a great family that intentionally spent time together during these special occasions. And still today, anytime that we are able to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life — putting aside the kids’ school activities and taking a break from running in all the different directions we do — it’s a blessing. Though we try to sit down together each night for dinner, time to get away forces us into purposeful fellowship, which builds upon our family bond.
Yes, we are supposed to have an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude year-round, but it’s great to have a specific holiday built around thankfulness to really focus on the good things we’ve been given. As Christians, this is a focus set on all that God is and all that He does for us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7
Counting your blessings is a technique celebrated in the Bible, which has the power to defeat all of our worries and anxieties because it takes our focus off ourselves and puts it back on the goodness of God. Adopting an attitude of thankfulness takes precedence over any fears or negative thoughts we are tempted with in this life. That’s why this holiday is so important — it’s a time to think about how richly the Lord has blessed us and how, ultimately, we have eternal victory in the promise of Jesus Christ.
— Lance Berkman, former MLB player
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.