The new book on Biblical Perspectives on Business Ethics starts with this Bible verse:
“After the whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who know neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.” Judges 2:10-11 NIV
Thanksgiving has both a vertical and horizontal aspect. We look up and thank God for his provision for our lives and we look out and embrace what that provision means in helping us develop and build relationships from the platform of our own uniqueness.
This Thanksgiving we could apply all of this to our present personal and national situation in many ways…as we poetically write about Thanksgiving with the rich sweetness of words dripping down over the sides of our sweet potato pie of prose…as we politically work to position ourselves on the side of correctness even though most of our efforts reek with the aroma of self interest. With a tongue in cheek approach to love and care, we pause at the table and imbibe, just waiting for the moment of release when we can rush forward into Black Friday with gusto, heading into the next season of frenzy that lies ahead. Thanksgiving is more about the celebration than the meaning behind the remembrance.
Is this the way we should live? Pop some pills, fill up the schedule so that life roars past us as the world swirls around us. What are you going to do decades from now when your energy wanes and you are set aside because the rubber band of life has broken in your life? When all you have done in the past becomes a blur.
Here we stand in the year 2013–Thanksgiving is before us while we as a nation are still deciding whether to run with the turkeys or carve up the eagle. There was a time when it was proposed that the turkey should be our national bird. Now Washington is full of turkeys carving up the national bird which we know is the eagle. So far the turkeys seem to be winning.
Should we let the national bird go down in flames burned by socialistic tendencies and bad decisions? Just think! A lot of people are caught up in the “you owe everyone a bird” syndrome. A bird in every pot is the mantra of every entitlement advocate. Organizations in the private sector collect money to deliver turkeys to thousands of people each Thanksgiving. Soon we will not need to do that because the government will do it for us or maybe the government will assign it back to us.
We are born on this earth with no entitlement other than the opportunity to use our talents and circumstances to invest in a better world. A government of the people that votes for entitlements is voting to sap its own energy of productivity until it collapses in a vacuum of lost determinations. I learned to create because we had nothing but our own ingenuity with which to create. We sorted through the trash and picked through left overs to build what we had in our dreams. We get one vote every few years as to who will represent us in getting the job done. Then on alternate years the people we vote in vote us out according to what will keep them in. That’s an interesting in and out. We are certainly being marginalized so that the turkeys in Washington are not only pardoned but continue to rule the roost.
As we approach Thanksgiving this year we stand on the threshold of bowing our heads not to the God who has provided us the ground to grow crops and be productive in our lives, but the god of government who sits at the head of the table daring us to question what is best for our lives. We look across the threshold and see a coming storm of increased government control over our lives all in the name of good. After all, the decisions we make are usually subpar with what the government says we need. We hear the sounds of uncertain trumpets that drive us into the arms of big government and communal redemption.
In time we will stop traveling over the river and through the woods in order to sit at the table of family and friends. We will increasingly need to be careful about giving thanks to the God of heaven because that might offend someone looking into the window of our lives. We will be compelled to sit at the table of governmental provision accepting the feast of entitlements doled out on our behalf. Our lives will be carved out and portioned to us by the great paternalistic system that in the name of “knowing best” is really only interested in protecting its position at the head of the table of societal control.
This Thanksgiving let us give thanks for life that is given by our eternal God and freedoms won. Then let us get up from the table, gather up our courage and stand for what we believe. What we believe…hmm! Now that’s an idea.