Those who give generously receive more, but those who are stingy with what is appropriate will grow needy. Generous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed (Proverbs 11:24-25, Common English Bible).
This is part 26 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.
From the day they discover the Thanksgiving tradition of making a wish and breaking the wishbone, I think the wishbone might be every child’s favorite part of the Thanksgiving table.
I did some research about the wishbone. Even though Thanksgiving is an American holiday the tradition of two people making a wish and then breaking a wishbone to see who got the bigger half and their wish granted actually goes all the way back to the Roman Empire. The Romans would dry out the chicken wishbones believing they held great power. Later, when wishbones started to become more scarce, they began breaking them. It makes little sense really. If you think it has power why would you break it?*
Irregardless, most of us know the wishbone has no real power. Still, getting to break the wishbone with your favorite cousin is a tradition that just can’t be beat. It is just a lot of fun.
I also know that breaking a wishbone from a freshly cooked bird, whether it be a turkey, chicken, duck or goose, is difficult if not impossible. The wishbone needs to sit outside the bird and dry out for a bit before it will break cleanly.
For me and my cousins, it didn’t matter. When we could get our hands on that odd bone, we were going to give it a try. I really don’t remember how many times I won or lost on the breaking of the bone (that in our rush NEVER broke cleanly).
Here is the thing about the wishbone, it isn’t something you can do by yourself. Sure, you might be able to break the bone, but breaking the bone isn’t what makes the tradition fun. It is making that wish and someone else making their wish and the two of you breaking the bone. The tradition, of necessity is a shared event.
These days, when I see a wishbone that’s what I think of. I think of the things I am blessed to share. I am blessed to share of the finances God has blessed me with. I am blessed to share God’s word from the pulpit each week and from this blog most every day. I am blessed to share a home and family with my wife. I have been blessed to share this holiday with Cindy, my mother, sister and brother-in-law, my niece, her boyfriend and his family. I was able to share an hour or so today at the nursing home visiting with my grandmother. I am blessed to share…… Boy, am I blessed to share……
I know God has blessed me in so many ways. I believe God calls on me to share what I have in just about that many ways too. As I share with others in the ways God has blessed me, I continue to see that God blesses me even further. What I have never seems to run out. I’ve always tried to be generous.
I know that as much as I try, at times I do fail. Even when I have been somewhat successful, I probably could have done a lot better than what I actually did. I know sometimes I thought about how little I had and not how blessed I am. I let the negative feelings influence my sharing and generosity.
Still, despite how I might have failed, God has continued to bless me. If I were to fail so badly God was to start taking the blessings away, I don’t really know how or what blessings God would take away from me. If I were to become even more stingy with what I have but our lesson makes pretty clear that such would be the case. I know there are many people in the world who seem to have it all, are stingy with what they have, and seem to always get more and more. Still, in some way, I feel certain they are missing out on some of the rich blessings that come from God.
I love the idea that through my generosity, through the blessings I share with others, God will also bless me. Help me O Lord, to be generous, to be a blessing to others. As you have blessed me, may I always be a blessing to others. And to the ways I can be even more of a blessing, open my eyes that I may see.
As I see the wishbone, may it always remind me of God’s call on my life to be generous, to be a blessing to others in the world around. So, please pass me that wishbone.
Have a blessed day in the Lord,
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved