“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
With America looking at more tough times ahead, preparedness is more important than ever. And Mahatma Gandhi was right - it begins with you.
Today is the first in the trilogy of holidays I’ve spoken of before: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Too often you can get swept up in the momentum of football, shopping and party planning, and before you know it this time of year has disappeared faster than Aunt Sally’s pumpkin pie. Then you’re starting the New Year and wrestling with that familiar feeling of emptiness. What could be a fresh start ends up feeling a lot like a plain old Wednesday in March. I understand. I’ve been there myself. But there’s a way off the holiday hamster wheel, and it begins today.
The reason we fail to embrace the new and hold true to our New Year’s resolution is that we haven’t prepared ourselves. Truth be told, New Year’s Day is far more a beginning than an end. In order to be spiritually ready, you must first take stock today. It’s time to clean out your life and be thankful for not only what you have, but what you have the courage to clear away. When I say be thankful, I don’t just mean go around the dinner table and say how happy you are that everyone’s together and that Grandma made her candied yams (though that’s good to do). I mean be deeply, honestly and humbly thankful. Thankful to God.
With today being the first in our American Trilogy of holidays, let today - Thanksgiving Day, be the start of you getting down on your knees and thanking God for all his blessings. Ask your family to join you. Make it a fundamental part of your Thanksgiving tradition. It’s time to downsize your life and find out what you’re really grateful for. Find out what the assets are around you and get rid of the clutter. Offer to be one another’s shelter, give thanks for the opportunity of God’s forgiveness, and most of all give thanks for the clarity in knowing what’s valuable, lasting and well-worth preserving.
Now, back to our old pal Gandhi. He was right—yes, you must be the change you want to see in the world. Whatever you wish in those around you—whether it be your friends and family or the leaders in your community and Washington—you must lead that charge by embodying that change. Yeah, it’s a tall order, but there are three steps. Today, let’s just worry about the first one. You can do it, I know you can.
When the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving, they weren’t thankful for their favorite team playing on TV. They didn’t have that luxury. Instead, they were thankful for God’s grace in letting them survive in this strange and wonderful new world and letting them worship as they wished. Thanksgiving Day is our time to celebrate their accomplishment and their sacrifice in braving brutally hard times and dedicating their lives to the pursuit of their happiness. They were indeed the change they wanted to see in the world. I hope you’ll join me in thanking God that they were.
Commit to this process as we celebrate our American Trilogy and I promise - you won’t be sorry. Stage two begins at Christmas. May you and your family have a blessed, happy and healthy Thanksgiving.