Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, for just a couple of hours, you’ll see a mass shut down of our fair country. The lights in restaurants go dim, the streets will begin to empty, and even the local Starbucks will shut down early. This is the day we’ve set aside for loved ones, thanks, turkey, and family recipes. As the country prepares itself for that day, you often see the social networks lighting up with statuses of “thanks” and moments of recognition—#hashtags of love and shout outs to special people in our lives.
But surrounded by all this recognition, we often fail to recognize the point of it all. It’s easy to forget to actually be thankful. 2013 has brought with it an incredible amount of creative outlets, blogs, magazines, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and mass texting abilities. We have become geniuses when it comes to 140 characters or less relationships and Facebook posts that could fill a diary. Our Instagram accounts hold the record of our outfits long past washed, and our Vine carries evidence of our “impromptu” shenanigans.
So how then—with all these connections—are so many of us able to go through life feeling lonely, unneeded, unloved, and unappreciated? How can you be in constant communication and yet feel completely alone? What will it take to make this real? Even with these incredible resources at our disposal, we often fail to remember that communication is about more than words. Truth is not only manifested with words but also with actions. Yes, words are powerful and incredible things; they can change lives or cut them off at the knees. But one must not forget—as powerful as words can be—actions will be the driving force behind them. Your actions will either propel or blockade your words. Which is more powerful after a hard day, someone taking your hand and telling you “it’s going to be OK” or a text assuring you of the same? You may know it to be true, but feeling its truth and living it will change things completely.
Where am I going with this? How does any of this connect with Thankgiving?
I want to encourage you to use this special day that is set aside to be thankful for our blessings, and bless those around you. Speak your thanks. Show your gratitude. The changes people made in your life, make for someone else.
Take this holiday off the newsfeed, and go into your hallways, your home, your aisles, and your relationships. What would happen if our generation began fulfilling the call to build each other up in the Lord? What if we shared our stories and carried each other through the weaknesses and rejoiced with each other in the victories and strengths? Would this completely change our tune? Could we look up from our social lives and see the faces who need us?
For whom are you thankful this year? Now, how can you show your love and your thanks? Go do it. #ThankYou
Olivia Dummer is a student in Blue Springs, Missouri where Scott Smith is her pastor. She writes and keeps an inspirational blog hoping to encourage others and share what she’s learned about God.