Monday, November 17, 2014

The Black Thursday Debate

With November in full swing and snow on the ground, my excitement for the Holidays is ramping up.  I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful that our country has a day set aside to thank God for his manifold blessings.  Family, Great Food, and Lions football are all things that combine to make my Thanksgivings pretty special!  I am so blessed!
Sadly, over the last few years Black Friday has overshadowed the Thanksgiving holiday.  The internet and TV are already abuzz with the deals of the year.  Most disturbing of all to me is the emergence of Black Thursday.  It started kind of small a few years ago with some stores opting to open at midnight to get a jump on Black Friday.  Now many stores are opening in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving.  This is a sad commentary on our country.  It blows my mind that people would rather be out scoring the latest gadget than sleeping late and enjoying brunch and a late dinner with family.      
Before I go any further, let me be clear and say that I have had my share of enjoyable Black Friday experiences. (After 11am in case you are wondering.  I’m not one of the crazy ones.)  If you check your motives (and your nerves :) ) shopping on the biggest shopping day of the year can be a blast!
That being said, it is just plain wrong for Black Friday to creep into Thanksgiving.
Why?  First of all, it requires retail employees to be working rather than with their families on the holiday.  I know.  I know.  Some of you are saying “Retail workers shouldn’t complain because at least they have a job, and members of our military have it a lot harder than they do.”  I agree.  Our Armed Services deserve as much respect as we can muster.  I am very proud of my brothers who have served and those who continue to do so.
Black Thursday is actually an insult to those who serve.  Consider this.  Those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who are away from their families for Thanksgiving are doing so for you!  Did you ever stop think about that?  They wrote a blank check to our country (and actually to all Americans) so that we could have the freedom to sit down to that turkey dinner with those we love.
On the other hand, the retail worker is only there because their employer can’t wait one more day to cash in, and because people are too eager to spend money they don’t have on things that will be obsolete in a few days.
More importantly, we need all need to take time to thank God for what He has given us.  Life is busier than it should be as it is.  It truly is a blessing that we live in a place where we can set aside a day to acknowledge the blessings of the Almighty.  Chiefest among these is the gift of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins.
You may be saying “I can thank God every day.”  Yes you can.  And you should.  But much like the Children of Israel of old, I have a tendency to forget to be thankful for what God has done in my life.  Thanksgiving is a great time to count those blessings!  My prayer for you today is that you would join me in echoing the words of the Psalmist “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8)
If you have to work retail this thanksgiving, do so as unto the Lord.  If not, I urge you to enjoy a day of thanks and blessing with your family. You will not regret it.  You will likely forget what you buy this year, but your loved ones won’t forget time spent with them.  There will still be shopping to do Friday. Thursday will be over soon enough.


Andrew Gommesen

1 comment:

Naomi said...

I agree with your thoughts on Black Thursday. A sad reflection on us as Americans that shows disrespect to the Holiday.
When people had to work hard all summer to put food in the larder they understood what it meant to give thanks to God for His provisions. They would not survive the winter without the food they had harvested and hunted for. Although we can buy all our food now we should still give thanks for the means to do so.
Well written Andrew.