39 years ago, I spent Thanksgiving in Bryce Canyon National Park. The park was closed for the winter. I was part of crew on a drill rig there. We had been called out of our sleep 6 days earlier to drive 400 miles in the snow (12 hours) to work on the rig. In the days of no cell phones, I did not know that the drill pipe was stuck and we would be stuck for days.
They opened up a closed motel for us to crash. We made many trips an hour away to the nearest café and convenience store. We played cards, talked and slept a lot. No TV there. When it looked like we would all be there over Thanksgiving, the owner opened up the restaurant kitchen. We decided to see what we could pull off.
The tool pusher was a former Army mess cook. A bunch of the crew had fish they had caught at Lake Powell. We had our own makeshift Thanksgiving, except with crappie as the main course. One big happy family. Three days later, we abandoned the well and went home. It was the one Thanksgiving that I did not spend with Christine.
A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish.
But what good is that for a crowd like this?
John 6:9 (CEV)
On Thanksgiving, we want everything perfect. We want all the right food and right people to make a great memory. How much time do we spend thanking the One who perfects all things?
Our attempts to make thing perfect will always butt up against a cosmos that randomly wrecks plans. Even while embracing those people and things around us, we need to embrace God as well, a God who does not fight for a place at our table.
A God who can feed 5,000 on a limited budget, wants to perfect those plans we make and those we make a mess of. It starts in community but we each, individually, must make a community with Him as well. Make room for Him.