I have a love/hate relationship with the Holidays. Outwardly it's mostly hate. I'll complain about not getting to sleep in my own bed, or having to pack the car, or the traffic, or having to suddenly find a restroom for my passenger's various bodily functions. Oh, I'll complain and convince you I'm a curmudgeon. But deep down, I love it, and I know it's the only right thing. It's just part this life, a life that just isn't about us.
The sacrifice of time and travel are the building blocks of family, friendships and traditions. It always has been, and always will be. And all that effort and inconvenience is a worthwhile investment for the payoff in the end. I still want the smell of dressing and sweet potato casserole to evoke in my children warm happy memories with cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends the way it does in me. I want full bellies and football and turkey comas to be the mark of a life well lived... I want to watch two little girls eat their fill and be reminded how in the God's Kingdom their is no scarcity at the Father's table... These are all the thoughts and feelings I'm flooded with as I65 takes us home and I watch the gold Alabama sun burn through a cool fall afternoon.
Like my Granddaddy Cleland used to say on days when the whole family was together and all seemed right with the world... "It's not always going to be like this"... "these ARE the good ole days". It’s been 20 years since we last had him to celebrate with on Thanksgiving day… He was right, life is fleeting, savor every moment.
So, I hope all of us are nourished by the feeling of having your whole tribe together, feasting, perhaps even in spite of it's many dysfunctions. That's a little taste of heaven for me and I hope and pray it is for you.
It's been a hard November, a hard year even, the whole world seems angry. I pray you’ll take time to count your blessings, love your family, be kind to your neighbor, and invite them to sit at the table of plenty both today and for eternity. After all, It’s not always going to be like this.