“What’s this? A piece of toast? A pretzel stick? Popcorn? What kind of a Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where’s the turkey, Chuck? Where’s the mashed potatoes? Where’s the cranberry sauce? Where’s the pumpkin pie?”
In “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”, friends gathered in mismatched chairs around a ping pong table in the backyard. But Peppermint Patty voiced her displeasure with the menu of buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and ice cream sundaes. It wasn’t what she expected. It didn’t look like a Thanksgiving feast.
Her plate was filled with disappointment. Nothing looked like it was suppose to. Everything was different than what she expected and she was angry. “Is this what you call a Thanksgiving Day dinner? Did we come across town for this? We were suppose to be served a real Thanksgiving dinner.”
Unmet expectations cause discontentment, frustration, and anger. And 2020 bubbled over with unmet expectations. This year hasn’t been what any of us expected. Overnight, the landscape of privilege and plenty evaporated. Empty shelves, limited supplies, and closed doors became commonplace.
At times, I echoed Peppermint Patty’s dissatisfaction. Where’s the toilet paper? Where are the cleaning supplies? Why is everything closed? This isn’t what I expected. This isn’t what 2020 was suppose to look like!
But my Covid-19 inconveniences pale in comparison to the hardships and sufferings of children living in poverty. Covid-19 canceled concerts and Compassion Sunday events creating a backlog of children in need of sponsorship. This holiday season, we can turn 2020 around for a child and make it the best year of their life. Please consider sponsoring a child today through Compassion International.
Yes, Thanksgiving 2020 will look different with plenty of unmet expectations. It may resemble Charlie Brown’s more than Martha Stewart’s without personalized place cards or festive fall centerpieces. Weather permitting, outside gatherings around makeshift tables with comfort food served on paper plates may be the holiday’s new look.
Let’s add to its new look an attitude of praise not protest. Let’s sound more like blessed children of God and less like Peppermint Patty throughout the 2020 holiday season.
In his study of Ephesians, R. Kent Hughes offers, “Our highest praise to all this must be to hold our gifts up to God and sing the boundless praise of Him who reigns above. Our theology must become doxology.”
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise him all creatures here below
Praise him above ye heavenly hosts
Praise father, son, and holy ghost.
Full hearts always find reasons to praise. Whatever our blessings are in this year of unmet expectations, let’s raise our hands, sing God’s praises, and pass the popcorn.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 (NIV)