By Judy Brandon: CNJ staff writer
I have a flag hanging on the front of my house that says “Give Thanks,” and has a picture of a big fat turkey smiling like he is exempt from any event during Thanksgiving. Yes, Thanksgiving is here and the scattered leaves on the ground across our property remind me that the seasons change. Life changes; we are not in one season for all the times of our lives. Those seasons come and go and in the midst of that, we work and go about our lives, hoping to find lasting fulfillment in our everyday existence.
At Thanksgiving time, I think about what brings lasting fulfillment. As a teen, I struggled for fulfillment and meaning by attempting to be popular by keeping a very busy social life. Then as I went off to college, I found myself identified with a generation who sought answers for fulfillment in the light of a major national crisis. Individually, we struggled with these questions: Who am I? Where am I going? Where is life taking me? How can I find myself? How can I find lasting fulfillment?
Those questions are not just for the formative years. As an adult, I know that life experience and its seasons do not necessarily answer those life questions. Some people look to find satisfaction in their surroundings, circumstances and relationships. Yet, if we depend on the consistency of these situations to meet our needs and provide our fulfillment, we will be disappointed.
Then the old questions surface once again.
Anyone walking through a bookstore can find magazine articles on self worth, life’s direction, and the purpose and meaningfulness of life. People want to “feel” better about themselves. They strive for contentment. Books, tapes, and seminars offer help to get folks “in touch” with who they really are so they can find purpose and satisfaction in life.
The difference in the biblical perspective is that the Bible helps us not to look to others or our surroundings for our sense of self worth and identity. The Bible tells us who we are. We are all created in the image of God. “When God created Adam, he made him in the likeness of God.” (Genesis 9:6)
The Bible tells us that we are of great worth to God. God gave the most precious gift, his own Son, to us. “For God so loved the world that he have his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The Bible reveals the depth of God’s love for us. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3:16) The Bible reveals to us how we fit into the entire plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Once again those leaves on the ground remind me that the seasons have passed, are passing and life goes on. This is the season of Thanksgiving, although each season should be viewed with a thankful heart. As those fragile leaves are on my trees only for a season, I know that security is not found in the seasons of our lives. Security and life fulfillment come only in knowing we are created, loved and valued by God. When we realize this, we can go through the seasons in our lives and know that our times are in his hands.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: