One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving occurred while I was living, ironically, in another country when Chip and I were students at L’Abri studying under Francis Schaeffer. Nestled in the tiny Swiss village of Huemoz, we gathered in our chalet with fellow Americans to give thanks. We were in a foreign land where Pilgrims and Indians and Plymouth Rock seemed light years away, but gratitude’s seamless nature transported us beyond borders.
Actually, it was the day after Thanksgiving that remains indelible. Chip and I, along with three fellow students, pooled our money together, rented a car, and became tourists. We visited a cheese factory, gawked at the lavish countryside and learned how cow bells were manufactured (the big kind that hang around cows’ necks). That evening we dined at Le Fox, a quaint Swiss café whose specialty was raclette, a type of cheese melted over boiled potatoes. As the snow quietly fell outside, the warmth of friendship and the delight of new adventure forged into something unforgettable….a “Thanksgiving memory.” One that has become a family tradition for us, as every year on Thanksgiving Eve we gather around our very own Swiss raclette machine and enjoy the moment.
I’m thankful for the tradition our Thanksgiving at L’Abri spawned over thirty years ago. I’m thankful for the beauty, the friendships, the excitement during that season of our lives. But that’s not all….
There was a realization I had that year-the year when we were so far from all things familiar. For the first time in my life I became aware that no matter where we were, God was with us. We may have been “strangers in a strange land” but I discovered “home” was anywhere He was.
How about you? Are you distant from loved ones this holiday? Or is discontentment separating you from gratitude? Don’t let the disappointments you face clog the arteries of a grateful heart. As you release a spirit of thankfulness-in the midst of whatever your circumstances might be-God will lead you to that which is the true source of life…to Himself…to Home.