A couple of weeks ago, in this month of November, our clematis put forth a flower.  It was an amazement, because this particular clematis is a SPRING-blooming plant.  I guess it was so warm it got confused.

It’s a perfect chance to think about Thanksgiving.

Everyone knows the story: 

Hey dude, it’s like…these people took this boat trip, and like, they got sick, man…then when they got here, they all died, ya know…but in the spring they all got better….  And there were these Indians, man…they ended up bein’ friends and all, havin’ a big feast….they were really happy they had all this food…

Seeing this flower bloom during November–or rather, seeing the brown leaves surrounding this flower as it blooms–has caused me to stop doing all my stuff and to really think about the first Pilgrims in a way I haven’t since the younger teaching days when we’re all required to tell the story over and over to our children.  Oh right–they didn’t have food and then afterward they did, and they were so grateful.  And now we celebrate being grateful too.  For turkey.

I reconsider my gratefulness in comparison to theirs.  I’m amazed they had it in themselves to pause and give thanks at all.  I wonder how many practiced thankful obedience because the leadership made the decision or because God desires it of us.  Were there any who, thinking of all the loved ones who were lost, were simply grateful it happened to some other family and not theirs?

I think they really ARE a great example to us.  “And whatever you do…give thanks” (Colossians 3:17) is not as simple a phrase as it seems, but it does bring us around to what is important, and it reminds us of where we sit at the Thanksgiving table:  in the warm loving hands of a God who loves us, who cares for us, and who plans to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11).

Give thanks with a grateful heart.  Indeed.