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Take Time For a Thanksgiving Gut-check

Before he ascended to his nation’s throne, David was in an inbetween time, as are we. He had not taken hold of his destiny, but his tribe had come together to bring it. As described in 1 Chron. 12, it was a time of anticipation, a time of preparation to make Israel the nation they’d dreamed of, w…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Before he ascended to his nation’s throne, David was in an inbetween time, as are we. He had not taken hold of his destiny, but his tribe had come together to bring it. As described in 1 Chron. 12, it was a time of anticipation, a time of preparation to make Israel the nation they’d dreamed of, with David its king. 

For three days they had a knock-down, throw-down party, eating and drinking, shouting and singing. It was in many ways, the Thanksgiving celebration of our dreams. And a far cry from the Thanksgiving we’ll celebrate tomorrow.

Thanksgiving is perhaps the last of our uncommercialized holidays. It can be a wonderful time of celebrating family. And it can also be fraught – a time when we inadvertently step into traps that we may have known we needed to avoid. Especially so for many of us this year with all of our varying views on politics and epidemiology.

For some of us, this Thanksgiving will be a sad time. Many families, not wanting to get on planes, not wanting to risk exposure to those who may carry the virus, are not getting together. The table of welcome and laughter will be empty.

In either case, today, the day before Thanksgiving, invites us to push pause and to look more deeply at the lives we are living. 

So much change and pain in 2020. We have a lot to process if we are to move on with vigor. But doing so may be painful – most of us need help. John O’Donohue talks about questions as being a mirror. Here are some questions he inspired that may help you look at the reality around you and find the perspective that God has for you that will allow you to regroup and make 2021 a year of healing. 

Find a journal and spend some time with them. I pray God meets you there.

 

What dreams have I ignored?

Where was I blind?

Where have I been hurt without anyone noticing?

What have I learned this year?

What did I read?

What new thoughts visited me?

What differences did I notice in those closest to me?

Whom did I neglect?

Where did I neglect myself?

How are my conversations?

What did I do today for the poor and the excluded?

When could I have exposed myself to the risk of something different?

Where did I allow myself to receive love?

Where have I shut myself off from love?

With whom do I feel most myself?

What has reached me this year? How did it imprint?

Who saw me this year?

What thoughts have I had about the past or the future?

What did I avoid that still needs me?

What does the world need from me?

How can I give it?

 

Comments (3)

  • Thanks for posting this, Seth. These are all questions worth zeroing in on, especially if we have become untethered from our dreams, voice and purpose. This past year has actually given me many unexpected gifts for which I am truly grateful, be blessed.

  • I shared these with my kids to help them process this year too. Thank you. What does this question mean: What visitations hd I from the past and from the future?

    • Good catch, Anne. That was poorly worded. This question is more clear:

      “What thoughts have I had about the past or the future?”

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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