Turned on the TV last night, on the eve of Thanksgiving. Big mistake.
The featured attraction, naturally, was “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” – a road-trip comedy starring Steve Martin and John Candy. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen the movie…and I found myself thoroughly enjoying its many classic scenes (especially seeing Candy perform his dashboard-air-piano jam to a smokin’-hot Ray Charles tune).
What caught me a bit off guard was what came between those movie segments: The obnoxious onslaught of Black Friday ads – most of which touted ‘new & improved’ store hours on Thursday evening…Thanksgiving Day itself.
‘Door Buster’ specials were de rigueur in almost every retailer’s commercials – and I found the whole spectacle just a tad depressing: Ads encouraging otherwise reasonable, loving people to leave their Turkey Day celebrations early…and go pound on store doors in search of an ephemeral bargain.
There is hope, I think, that the tide has turned…and that someday soon the consumer-fueled madness will end. Just yesterday, I read a report that some retailers are taking a stand to ‘save’ Thanksgiving – to which I say, May their efforts succeed in bringing the ‘Wal Mart cohort’ to its knees!
As an antidote to the commercial clutter, I feel myself being drawn to silence today: Carving out just a moment or two with the Holy One…before heading out the door to our family’s holiday feast.
The words of Psalm 138 are helping to take me there…and perhaps they will be helpful to you, too:
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all of my heart,
For you have heard the words of my mouth;
In the presence of the angels I will sing your praise.
I will give thanks to your name
Because of your kindness and your truth.
When I called, you answered me;
You built up strength within me.
All the rulers of the earth shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
When they hear the words of your mouth;
And they shall sing of the ways of the Lord:
‘Great is the glory of the Lord!’
You stretch out your hand;
Your right hand saves me.
Lord, your love endures forever!
A love that endures forever: Now that’s what I call a holiday bargain!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!