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Pastor's Perspective - November 23, 2014: A "REAL" THANKSGIVING SPIRIT
Written by Ron Woodrum   
Sunday, 23 November 2014

PASTOR'S PERSPECTIVE: A "REAL" THANKSGIVING SPIRIT

     One of my favorite Thanksgiving stories is the one Chuck Swindoll tells in his book Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.  This story is in his chapter on Misunderstanding-because what happened one Thanksgiving is probably the greatest misunderstanding that has ever happened!  Listen to Chuck Swindoll as he recounts the story:

 

     "A close friend of mine has an acquaintance in Texas who is a young attorney.  He is a member of a sizable law firm run, by a rather traditional kind of boss, who enjoys a special kind of ritual at Thanksgiving time.  Every year this young attorney participates in the ritual because it means so much to his employer.  On the large walnut table in the board room of the office suite sits a row of turkeys, each bagged with the employee's name on it.  One for each member of the firm.  It isn't just a matter of 'if' you want it you can have it, if you don't you can leave it.  The members go through a rather involved protocol.  Each man stands back from the table and looks at his turkey.  When it becomes his turn each steps forward and picks up the bird, with his name on it,  announcing how grateful he is to work for the firm and how thankful he is for his turkey this Thanksgiving. 

 

     This young attorney is single and lives alone.  He has no idea how to fix a Turkey, and even if it were properly prepared, he has no way to use all its meat.  But because it is expected of him, he takes a turkey every year!  One year his close friends in the office decided to play a trick on him and replace his turkey with one made of paper-mache.  They weighed it with lead to make it feel genuine.  But it was a bogus bird through and through.  On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving everyone gathered in the board room.  When it came his turn he stepped forward and picked up the grocery sack with his name on it, filled with his turkey, expressing his grattitude for both the job and the bird!

 

     Later that afternoon he got on the bus to go home, with the big turkey on his lap, wondering what in the world he was going to do with it.  A little further down the bus line, a rather run down, discouraged man got on the bus, and sat in the only vacant seat, beside the young lawyer, with the turkey on his lap.  They began to talk about the holiday on the next day.  The attorney learned that the man had been job-hunting the entire day and had had no success. He had a large family and was dreading the holiday because he had no money to feed them.  The attorney was struck with a brilliant idea:  this is my day for a good turn.  I'll give him my turkey!  Then he had a second thought.  This man is no free-loader.  It would likely injure his pride if I just give it to him.  I'll sell it to him-for a nominal fee-and he can go home and surprise his family with a big turkey, for a feast on Thanksgiving.  He asked the man how much he had.  The man said, 'a couple of dollars, and a few coins'.  'That will buy you this turkey!'.  They exchanged the money and the bag holding the bird.  The man was moved to tears that his family would have a turkey this year for Thanksgiving!  He got off the bus, waving to the attorney, and saying repeatedly, 'God bless you sir!  God bless you sir!'  'Have a nice Thanksgiving.  I'll never forget you for this!' (Little did he know how prophetic those words would be!) The attorney felt so good.

 

     The next Monday, the attorney went to work.  His friends were dying to know about his reaction when he discovered the bogus bird!  You cannot imagine their chagrin when they found out what he had done with the turkey.  I understand, through my friend, that the entire office got on the bus every day that week, looking in vain for the man, who as far as they know, to this day still entertains the misunderstanding about a guy who innocently sold him a fake turkey, for the last two dollars and few cents he had to his name.  THAT'S A MISUNDERSTANDING!" 

 

     If you are struggling to find something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving-Just be thankful you have never had that happen to you-or happen by you to some unsuspecting victim!   
 
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