Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

College isn’t so much about learning things as it is about learning how to process thought. There’s about a dozen useful facts and as many impractical ones, as well as a spattering of wisdom that I could recite from those years. Such as Gilbert Ryle’s categorical error, the definition of a polyploidy, and why Robert Frost was brilliant.

Equalizing Anchors

I also learned how to construct a self-equalizing belay anchor on a cliff where protection is suspect, but in my current office environment that knowledge proves less practical.

One of the random assertions offered to us by British Lit professor Dwayne Manske was as follows: In western culture, the wealthy bond with one another by their money. They have in common rare cars, exotic vacations, grand homes and lake houses. The middle class bond around food. We go out to eat with friends and have them over for dinner. The poor, who have neither luxury items nor the finances to indulge in good food, have sex. It is reflected in both the urban welfare state and the rural teen mothers. It shows in both rap and country music. It’s the best of recreation and it’s free. At least immediately.

But back to the middle class… Last night was our annual Thanksgiving potluck at church. It’s one of the largest meals I will eat all year, in the company of those closest to me. This has been a part of my life… all of my life. It has been, at least traditionally, a staple of American life.

We used to have potlucks on a monthly basis, back in the 70’s before the last vestiges of the pre-digital age were swept away, removing an entire layer of middle class socialization. But now we are in full convenience and immediacy mode. Pot luck? Bah, that takes preparation and cleanup. Plus, the game’s on at 2.

It's Overwhelming x 2!

I can’t convey the incredible indulgence of a proper Southern Baptist potluck. It has to be experienced. Had I anticipated posting I would have taken a photo. I could find only this one on line to approximate our holiday potluck. Double what you see here, and that will be pretty close.

Several different pans of turkey meat, plates of chicken, sliced smoked ham, pastas, potatoes in every variety, from baked to cheesy to augraten… my favorites, corn and greenbean casseroles, flaming hot meatballs, a dozen or more dishes I couldn’t identify. Then the greens, the breads, and three tables covered in home made deserts.

Like most of my friends, I fall securely into the middle or lower-middle class category of finances. But there are times when I set in my little house, in my extremely comfy recliner, watching my flat-screen and sipping Dr. Pepper, and I am reminded of how blessed I am. Even a meager American lifestyle is a blessing that is exorbitantly lavish and undeserved in human history.

Consider why you deserve to be in the .001% of humans to be blessed with central heat and air. To be blessed with carpet. To have painted sheet rock. To have an indoor kitchen. To have a washer and dryer. To flush your waste and not have to carry it out and dump it the next morning.

God placed us here, and now. That’s absurdly improbable and undeserved. All of human history was in preparation for Justin in his warm little home playing his drums, streaming music, playing online.

I don’t make much money, but I toss across the bed pairs of slacks worth a week’s income to half the world.

I am thankful for my abundant wealth. I am thankful for a job. I am thankful for parents I’d count as border-line angels. I am thankful for the two cups of Ramen I ate today for lunch, and for access to the doctor (and sister-in-law) who tells me to eat better. I’m thankful that I can afford to.

Most of all I am thankful that God chose me. I have no idea why, but he did. Being rescued from death when you didn’t even know that it was coming down on you is something not to be taken lightly. Christ Jesus has done this for me, and I am, quite literally, eternally grateful.

ADD:
Oh, and I’m thankful for my 6 readers.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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