Rev. Joseph Oloimooja
By Rev. Joseph Oloimooja, Priest in Charge
Christ the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
Once again, the holiday season has rolled around and people are saying, “Where did the year go?”
Already, the stores are filled with Christmas decorations, children are wondering what they will find under the tree, and Mom and Dad are wondering how they will pay for it.
These days, Thanksgiving is basically a pre-season holiday, something you do to get in shape for Christmas. We eat, we sleep, we watch football, and we don’t stop until January.
That’s a shame because the art of giving thanks is one thing that separates man from the animals. To receive a gift and say, “Thank you,” is one of the noblest things a man can do.
To say “Thank you” is to acknowledge that we have been given something we did not earn and do not deserve. Happy is the man who understands that all of life is a gift of God and that life itself is the ultimate gift. Which is why the Bible says, “In everything give thanks.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)
When we can’t do anything else, we can always be grateful. As someone has said, “If you can’t be thankful for what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped.”
With that in mind, I’d like to bring a special Thanksgiving message, ‘How God Weans Us From The World.’
To be weaned is to have something removed from your life that you thought you couldn’t live without. David, in Psalm 131, says, “I’ve come to the place where the things I thought I had to have, I don’t need anymore. Now my soul is quiet and content.”
Most of us live on the opposite principle. We figure our contentment on the basis of how many of our needs are met. By that standard, it’s hard to ever really be content.
In our hearts we think, “I would be happy if only I had a new car or a new job or a new dress or a new husband or a new wife.” Since life is hardly ever that simple, we stay frustrated when we ought to be happy.
No wonder Thanksgiving just whizzes on by. No wonder Christmas is a nightmare. No wonder we are never satisfied. Instead of being weaned from the world, we are wedded to it. Or maybe I should say, welded to it. In any case, our soul is anything but quiet, our countenance anything but peaceful
How does God go about weaning us from our dependence on the things of the world?
First, He makes the things of the world bitter to us. Second, He removes, one by one, the things on which we depend. Third, He gives us something better.
In the end, we find that we no longer need the things we used to think we couldn’t do without. And our walk with God is stronger than ever before.