Thanksgiving has turned into a multi-day event for many families. Mine is no exception. Turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin torte, naps and conversation now seem to stretch into Friday and the weekend. We drove from Indiana to Ohio today to have our second dinner with the in-laws. It was all good the second time and I am now languishing in the big chair in the den.
Driving through the heartland kept me out of the shopping meccas on what is called in America "Black Friday". This Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest retail shopping day of the year. Reports of people camping out at some stores days in advance and openings even on Thanksgiving now make this shopping day an even bigger event than it should be. At a Wal-Mart in California there is a report of a shopper spraying mace in a crowd to scatter people away from the favored discounted merchandise. The good news is no one was killed in a stampede of shoppers. And so another season begins.
I noticed gas prices were lower this weekend. One gas station had gas under $3 a gallon–first time in months since I have seen it that cheap. A report in the Financial Times says that American foreign oil imports have fallen to 46% of consumption compared to five years ago. This is surprising but offers an indicator of what could be done with a concerted effort to curb oil dependancy. This report points to the amount of oil and natural gas underground within North America. Up to a third of imported oil could be cut. The optimism for American energy is at a new level this year.
Which points to the great physical abundance of this fair land. I marvel at the vast wealth we enjoy. This annual weekend serves as an opportunity to stop and consider what God has given us. America is facing major problems. So far, no leader at any level has stopped forward with any viable solutions. But at least for one weekend we can give thanks for what we have.
"Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations." (Psalm 100:1-5)