Paula Deen’s restaurant wasn't decorated like Thanksgiving should be—a cornucopia on the table; a turkey on the counter; and the oranges, yellows, whites, and reds that often accompany them. It surely wasn't cool outside, for the month of July in Savannah, Georgia, doesn't produce such weather. Part of the family was missing. Some were home, while others were flying back to Columbus to avoid their young kids the 14-hour drive from Disney World. But Thanksgiving doesn't always require those aspects to occur, especially after the blessing we restaurant attendees had seen that day.
We hadn't been on the road for an hour while traveling from Orlando to Savannah. It was during this time that we realized our cars—that is, my family’s and grandparent’s, needed gasoline. So we turned off on the exit and joined many other travelers on a multiple-lane road. Eventually, we came to a red light. Since the gas station was on the left side of the road, both of us stopped in the left turning lane. The intersection was so busy, however, that the drivers had the option of two different left turning lanes. Thankfully, both of us chose the left-most of the two.
Slightly after making our turns, we heard the crash. Closely to where we had previously turned, a little black car sat hopelessly with flames and smoke overwhelming (bystanders were there to help). The truth is that this car took the other left turning lane beside us. I remembered looking out the right window of our blue mini van when we were at the intersection. A young woman drove that destroyed car. Had she not been there, or had we chosen that other left-turning lane, it would have likely been one of our cars in flames.
My grandma gave us the reason for the accident: a truck across the intersection failed to stop at the stop light while we were turning.
Shaken and greatly thankful it wasn't us, we said prayers of thanksgiving and prayers of intercession for that poor woman. We got back on the road to Savannah, and that’s how we had a July Thanksgiving at The Lady and Son’s.
I will never forget this story, and you probably won’t ever forget similar occurrences in your life. But what if I gave you another? It will be much shorter, much less memorable, but definitely more common in both your life and mine.
Yesterday, I had some awesome chicken for dinner. It had sour cream and cracker crumbs, and that baked-crisp that makes it all the more better. A baked potato joined it on the plate. There may have been something else, but I cannot remember. Why can I remember the wreck my family and I were saved from over a year ago and not the dinner I had last night?
You see, when something life-changing and big happens, a lot of thanksgiving bursts from within us. However, what about the small things? Our excitement doesn't get nearly as high when just another day at the dinner table takes place. I mean, think about it. Did you even say “thank you” when you:
got a new t-shirt from the mall?
took the Whopper Jr. from the Burger King tray?
purchased some great-smelling lotion from Bath and Body Works?
passed the test?
felt better from the infection?
We just see these little items and occurrences as daily benefits. There isn't always a big “thank you” about them. There are likely no prayers of thanksgiving and feasts to celebrate. I mean, my goodness! We would be celebrating every single day—or, at least we hope so.
I believe it is these little things that cause us to take so many blessings for granted. However, we aren't even guaranteed any of them.
Whenever we take the common blessings for granted, we become so immune to them that we fail to recognize the true blessings they actually are. After all, it’s not common that you get saved from a car accident, but it is part of American life to be treated with a dinner and a new t-shirt.
What does the Bible say about this subject?
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
So the next time something small comes your way, thank God for it. Besides, you never know how big it really is.
Happy Thanksgiving 2015!