Holidays are spaced for our benefit


There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung…. There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made. No one you can save that can’t be saved…. There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known. Nothing you can see that isn’t shown. Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…. All you need is love…love is all you need” —The Beatles

Holidays are spaced out deliberately, I believe, to pull us back together when we may be falling apart. Thanksgiving is perfectly timed.

Maybe it was a hot summer, too long, or was it too short? Then fall showed up dragging in the clouds and cold air. The days get shorter, a mild depression can start creeping in this time of year. And these are just the blanket issues—the ones we all share every year as the seasons change. Add in random and personal things happening to us, and it’s enough to tie a person into knots.

When things get rough, after we’ve been steadily climbing toward our breaking point, we may find ourselves getting a little too cozy with negativity or resentment. Especially if we’ve been wronged. Don’t get me wrong, this strategy works great for awhile. It feels pretty good to hold the phantom upper hand.

Until it doesn’t. Until it keeps you up at night and wakes you up in the morning. Until it’s all about the person holding onto the negativity (or anger or grudges).

A friend of mine who has lost two family members in a short amount of time said she didn’t understand why certain members of her extended family held onto old resentments year after year. She got fed up. Grief will do that. So she took it upon herself to point out and then corral the elephant in the room that no one else had been willing to acknowledge for years.

So, I wonder, why do we do this? Why is it so much easier to stay angry? Is it a control thing? A revenge thing? Or just all ego?

It has to be a human thing. It’s how we’re built. We like things to go a certain way—our way. Life’s learning curve follows its own timeline, and sometimes it really bites.

But it would just be un-American to not acknowledge what we’re thankful for at Thanksgiving. We have to—it’s part of the deal.

And if we do it with sincerity, it’s hard to be thankful and resentful at the same time.

The common wedding passage from 1 Corinthians 13 ends with “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Maybe we’re built to doubt too…. I had always questioned that part of the passage. I was convinced that the wording should be, “And now these three remain: love, hope and faith. But the greatest of these is faith.”

Faith always seemed to be the most powerful. The most promising. The one that can keep things going until the other two are figured out.

I think I know better now. I don’t know much about much in the grand scheme, but I can say one thing. We all need all three. Because when it counts, it’s love that will bring us back around to our faith. It’s love that keeps us clinging onto the last string of hope.

And that’s what makes me thankful this year.


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