This past week it was my turn to submit an article to the minister section of the local newspaper. This is what I put together.
There is a word in the dialect we call German-Russian that our family uses quiet often. I don’t know how you would spell it, but phonetically, I will say it is: “che-geck-ick.” It means nerd or nerdy. Somehow that word holds far more weight and impact than to say that something is nerdy.
Sitting around the Thanksgiving table and sharing what we are thankful for would in our house be that word. We are all just too modern and cool for that sort of behavior. Yet what better time than Thanksgiving to share a moment with those whom we are closest? What better time to look across the table and tell each other how much you have appreciated their support and love throughout the year. What better time to tell your parents how much you look up to them, or to tell your children how much joy they bring to your lives?
Instead we stress about the arrangements. We fret because of eating times and travel plans, and if the gravy turns out as it should. And mostly we are so self occupied that we don’t even take the time to listen when someone slips a little sentence of thankfulness into the conversation.
We are afraid of becoming nerds; we are actually afraid of becoming vulnerable. We try to keep our heads up and stay self-sufficient. We want to think of ourselves as strong, independent and stoic. We are the stuff of our ancestors.
But we forget that with the strong, self-sufficient and stoic attitude our ancestors brought two more important things to this prairie land they settled. They brought their hard red spring wheat, and they brought a strong belief in God. They understood that it would take both of those things to survive in this area.
I will take a chance and suggest that maybe our grandfathers/mothers and great grandfathers/mothers were not afraid to lead their families in a round of “What I am thankful for” around their tables on Thanksgiving Day. They understood the importance of acknowledging the role that God’s grace plays in our lives, a factor that many of us, too, understand.
I hope that we can all take some time on Thanksgiving Day or in the week to come, to give thanks to God for all we have. Psalm 67:6-7 “The earth has yielded its increase, God, our God has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.” That is what we as Christians need to continue to give thanks for and to pray for, that all the ends of the earth would revere him who created us all, even the nerdy parts.