In just a few weeks, we will all be eating my favorite meal of the year. It doesn’t get any better than turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, corn, and pumpkin pie!
But Thanksgiving starts the “holidays” and they are difficult for many people. With such a focus on family, our relationships in all their fractured glory are on display. It makes it tough for the believer to truly be focused on a heart of gratitude.
One South Korean firm became very determined to help people appreciate their lives. Since 2012, the Hyowon Healing Center has used an unusual approach to help over 25,000 men and women of all ages seek forgiveness and reconciliation in their work and family relationships.
They help people “die well.”
They believe that “once you become conscious of death and experience it, you undertake a new approach to life.” So, they help folks participate in their own funeral. They schedule mass events where folks put on shrouds, take funeral portraits, write out their last testaments and cap it off by lying in a closed coffin for around ten minutes.
And apparently it works.
Although I am not sure such a program would “fly “very well in our culture, I am intrigued by the concept of “taking care of things now” so we can truly appreciate what we have.
If I knew for a certainty that tomorrow was my last day this side of eternity, I do believe it would affect my attitude. I would grumble much less. I would stop whining and start noting all the good around me. I would seek reconciliation and ignore wrongs done. I would move past those family slights and work irritations.
I would be much more thankful for my life.
So, this week, maybe we should all play a little game of pretend. Let’s pretend that we know God’s mind and have a good idea of when this part of life will end. Let’s start all that reconciliation and forgiveness right now. Let’s call a few folks and wipe the slate clean. Let’s be intentional about our heart of gratitude and widen our circle of family and friends.
Besides, the more folks around the table at Thanksgiving, the better!