The news story was so sad; a driver hit someone and then left the person in the middle of the street to die—a hit and run. Over the last few years, I feel like that is what we have done with Thanksgiving. The commercialization of Christmas hits Thanksgiving and leaves it in the middle of the road to die.

If there ever was a people who ought to give thanks for the guiding and blessing hand of God, it ought to be Americans. To walk back through America’s history is to see the hand of God on display on behalf of this nation.

If you have ever visited Washington, D.C., you have seen the statements by our presidents and leaders through history etched on the walls of monuments acknowledging God’s favor upon this nation. Those people who led us know America exists as a free nation because of the providential hand of Almighty God.

Yet, year after year, we seem to become less and less thankful. We continue to strip God from the public arena and seek to eliminate any reference to Him in our history or present. Thanksgiving to God has become a time to acknowledge the idols of commerce and sports. A secularized consumeristic Christmas runs over Thanksgiving and leaves it behind to die alone.

The godless are also the thankless, but that should not be true of the company of the redeemed. As my momma use to say, “We know which side our bread is buttered.” We know that Thanksgiving Day is a special day set aside to acknowledge the mighty works of God on our behalf. Of all people, we cannot give way to the secular drive-by hit-and-run of Thanksgiving.

For those of us who are the people of God, every day should be a day of giving thanks. Every breath we take is a gift from God. Every blessing we receive is a gift from God. While we do not need a special day, it is altogether good that we take advantage of Thanksgiving Day to give special attention to this great work of thanking God for His goodness. Especially thanking Him for His goodness to our nation.

Even with the deep divides and significant issues that America faces, this is still the greatest nation on earth. Americans are still the most blessed people because God has privileged us to live in this land of the free.

Even the most unfortunate among us are advantaged over the rest of the world. Yes, God has been good to America, and we who are its citizens should take this special day to acknowledge His hand of mercy. But whether a secular nation does or does not give thanks, this should not hinder the actions or attitudes of the people of God. We, of all people, must not let this day go by without offering a symphony of praise and thanksgiving to God.

So, when you gather on this Thursday, come to a full stop and call upon your family to express their heartfelt thanksgiving to God. Count your many blessings and name them one by one. Make much of the goodness of God toward your family and our great nation.

There will be plenty of time to shop ‘til you drop for things that will fade with time. Refuse to allow the world to lead you to be a hit and run driver.

Don’t run past Thanksgiving and get sucked into the vortex of consumerism. Postpone the focus on a secular Christmas one more day, and fill the air with heartfelt thanksgiving to God.

Surely, God has been good to America. To Him be praise and thanksgiving!