“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6: 6-10).
If someone asked me what I am most grateful for my answer would be different than six years ago. Back then I would have answered family, friends and “Black Friday.”
Black Friday in the United States is the day after Thanksgiving in which stores have tremendous sales. It is thought of as the first day of Christmas shopping when many retailers become profitable–in the black–for the year. Some stores open at midnight, others open a bit later, and now some even on Thanksgiving Day.
Six years ago I admit I scoured advertisements on Thanksgiving morning to plan a shopping spree. My friend and I would get out before the sun came up to shop.
It was fun, crazy, and overwhelming. We had one unspoken rule: if there was a line to get in a store, we skipped it. Unfortunately, many wait in those lines and push and shove, invariably causing injuries.
We shopped for hours, would rest, and then continue. And the worse part, I would buy things I did not need or know what to do with. The lure of the sale overcame sanity.
Today I am thankful I no longer can participate in Black Friday. This has saved money, time, and energy. I admit, I still browse advertisements, but am grateful my body is not strong enough to endure such a shopping day.
Instead, I am most thankful for three things; family, God, and my pacemaker (i.e. medical team). God has always been in my life, but through this five-year medical journey He has become a vital part of my existence.
And for that I am truly thankful.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to remember to slow down this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Remind us that You are the most important thing in our lives, not material goods. Bless those who struggle physically and emotionally at this time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband of 26 years and her three children. She is a retired elementary school counselor who currently runs a HopeKeepers group at her church. She has dysautonomia, the deregulation of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls such invisible functions as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and temperature control.
What are you most thankful for today?
This is Royal Tailor singing “Death of Me.” It is natural to be tempted by the sales–and there is nothing wrong with going shopping or even buying some goodies. But does it rule you? That is the question we need to ask ourselves. Do we do it because we feel we will be whole if we have more stuff? This song focuses on letting go of the desires that may come naturally to us, but that can still easily rule our lives. Hugs. -Lisa