Okay, so I had a really weird moment today at the pasar (our local market). Something washed over me amid the oppressive heat, and the crowds of people squeezing past me and, yes, even the smells, which I won’t mention. All of a sudden I felt like it was Thanksgiving. For just a brief moment a nostalgic feeling overcame me. The same feeling I would get in California when our family gathered together for Thanksgiving. I had to stop and ask myself why.
I think it was the fact that in one of the stalls of vegetable sellers, there was a television with sports on. Not American football by any means, but soccer (an Asian favorite). Something about the green soccer field on the screen and a few people gathered around to watch it, and the surrounding vegetables, carrots and cabbages piled up high, along with Chinese celery (which smells like the real thing), and the way the sun was filtering down to brighten the stalls reminded me of Thanksgiving in California. Have I been overseas too long?
I think it is also the fact that the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, has started. There is an air of holiday-ish excitement as people flock to the pasar to buy food for breaking their fast. I am reminded that there are different holidays all around the world, and that all people enjoy the excitement that they bring. But, I think Thanksgiving is special, because instead of focusing on our own works to get us to God, it is pausing to thank God for what He has already done for us and for his goodness to us through Jesus Christ. That is something we can be thankful for anywhere in the world at any time of the year.