RICHMOND, Va.– Many metro Richmond residents know Tyrone Nelson as a member of Henrico County Board of Supervisors representing the Varina District.
On this Thanksgiving 2013, I had the opportunity to hear Tyrone Nelson, the minister of the Gospel, deliver a message about what so many Americans are lacking on pre-Black Friday: CONTENTMENT.
Notice I said “Pre-Black Friday” and NOT Thanksgiving. That’s the problem.
That’s why we all can benefit from today’s Thanksgiving message- “GIVING THANKS FOR ENOUGH.”
According to Rev. Nelson, we always want more on the journey toward “enough” where we find ourselves buying bigger and doing more, yet what we think is “enough” still manages to elude us.
Instead of being content with what we have, we developed what he called a “spirit of discontentment” that focuses on self-worship and takes the focus off of God.
Especially during this holiday shopping season when dozens of stores are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, we see that the “the world feeds our spirit of discontentment.”
Forgetting that Christmas is not about us, or the people for whom we’re shopping, we hurry supposedly to get best deals on things neither we nor the recipients of our gifts really need.
Our Stuff is Temporary
“My life cannot consist of an abundance of my possessions,” Rev. Nelson said in his message based on the 15th verse of the 12th chapter of the Gospel of Luke. “Our stuff is temporary.”
As the senior pastor of the historic Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, Rev. Nelson made the sermonic offering at Richmond’s Community Thanksgiving Service, a tradition for more than a decade involving four Baptist congregations north of Richmond’s James River– First African Baptist, Trinity Baptist, Sixth Mount Zion and Triumphant Baptist.
My home church, the 233-year-old First African Baptist of Richmond, hosted today’s highly-spirited 90-minute worship experience that began with the song “Every Day Is A Day of Thanksgiving.”
“If for nothing else, we thank God for being a giving God,” Rev. Nelson said. “Thanksgiving is about a God who gives.”
To see contentment in action, Rev. Nelson recommends Paul’s letter to the Church at Philippi in the New Testament that were originally written from the damp conditions of a prison cell (Philippians 4:11-12)– “I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content.”
Furthermore, Rev. Nelson suggested four (4) ways to cultivate contentment in our lives:
- Remember things could be worse
- Ask ourselves “How long will this make me happy?” (Happiness is an emotional response to a particular situation)
- Develop a Grateful Heart
- Ask Myself “Where does my [really] soul find satisfaction?