By Bill McFerrin Local Commentary
Have you ever looked at or heard the word Thanksgiving and the only things that you could think of were golden brown turkey, dressing and all the trimmings, and maybe some friends and family over at your house? Then after you eat all that you can hold — which most of the time is too much — you head for your easy chair or the couch and some football on the TV. Now right along here, I just get a feeling you’re thinking, “boy, I can’t wait,” as you drool just a little out of the right corner of your mouth. But now with that on your mind, I want to ask you to do something, and that is to divide the word “thanksgiving” into two words so that you come out with “thanks” and “giving.” Now the word thanks makes me think about oh, how much thanks that I owe to God for him being so willing to send his only son to suffer and die for me and you, and with everything going on at Thanksgiving time, it’s not hard to put that part on the back-burner. But that is the one thing that we should never get to a point in our lives that it goes on the back-burner. Now I know that we go to church and praise him and sing songs of praise and study his word. That is great and he loves you for doing it, but is that enough? He is always with us every minute, so we should never leave him at the church like we do sometimes, and we should never completely let him out of our mind. Sometimes I wonder how many times that God looks down on you and me and thinks with all the blessings that he has been so faithful to give, that it seems that we think of him as just a part-time God. Now I know that some of you are thinking that you would never do that on purpose, and I’m in that same boat with you, but we all do it. It’s because we get so caught up in things and we’ve got so much on our minds in this fast-paced lifestyle that we live in today, with all the texting and laptops and desktops, always hurrying here and there and all the other stuff that we have to deal with. But being thankful for all the blessings that come our way should never be a problem for any of us, because if you take a look around you, you will see just what he does for you to make your life better. Remember the song “Count Your Many Blessings (Name Them One by One). Now we move on to the other word, “giving,” and I know that this word takes on a totally different meaning. Now giving does not mean that you could ever give something to God to pay for what he has done for all of us, because that would be totally impossible. We don’t owe him anything but our love and our desire to tell others about what he has done for us in return for his gift, because it was free. Now the thing that we should be giving to him is our time, and by time I mean reading his word or talking to him in prayer. One of the more important things that we should do is to understand the Holy Spirit was placed in the heart when we decided to take his free gift, and so we should always give thought whatever you do, whether it be good or bad, you are making his spirit be a part of it. And if it’s something bad, then you are grieving the very spirit that God himself placed there to give you comfort and guidance in everything that you.. Now with this said, let me finish with these words: Enjoy that turkey and dressing and all the trimmings, and enjoy the family and friends that may be coming to your house for Thanksgiving, but just for a short time, divide it into two words, because putting those two words back together brings us right back to food. But God bless you and yours and try hard to not eat too much. Bill McFerrin is a West Memphis resident with some things to say and a certain way of saying them.