Giving Thanks

A fundamental knowledge of history is all it takes to destroy the typical American sentiments associated with holidays such as Thanksgiving. Sadly, most people believe the landing pilgrims were advocates of freedom in speech, freedom in religion and other such things. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. While they did flee to the new world with hopes & aspirations of escaping papal authority, they themselves embraced the unhealthy extremes of puritanism. Remember the witch trials? But yes, the Pilgrims were truly thankful even if their gratitude did carry a bit of irony.

None the less, we can always use an opportunity to give thanks. Of course it should be pointed out that in order for one to be thankful or have an attitude of thanksgiving, it does imply that such expressions of gratitude are directed. You simply can not be thankful for something without being thankful to someone. I can think of only one worthy platitude: Thank God.

I am certain that there are among us a myriad of individuals worried about the slow death of our economy and their jobless state. Mortgage payments, car payments, and the cost of living weigh down upon all of us, especially the unemployed. Even under the burdens of such looming pressures, I consider myself fortunate to have known those way worse off than myself. I have clothes, I have food and I have breath in my lungs. I have all I need, and then some.

The abundance I have beyond my needs makes me truly thankful this Thanksgiving Day. After a year long absence from the country I am re-employed and doing what I love best. Considering the state of the country, I am truly thankful to God for that. Even more so, I am thankful for my wife. Despite the fact that we are apart by over 8000 miles, I am grateful to know how patiently she waits. Truly it is written, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” I am also thankful for my Children. Seeing how they’ve grown over the years is a blessing beyond description (Ps 127:3). I don’t deserve such awesome kids. Trying to express gratitude for the things you can’t repay simply leaves me speechless.

I’m not always certain I should be using this day to celebrate my abundance with an excess of food. Sometimes I think it should be a day of fasting lest we forget that which we have. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good turkey stuffed with breadcrumbs. I just have to wonder if the celebration of abundance by engaging in more of it isn’t paramount to the same irony that led to the first Thanksgiving in this country. Are we as equally thankful for what God has done for others as we are for ourselves?

I’ll never be convinced that the history of Thanksgiving Day will ever be worthy of the title. None the less, I won’t remove the landmark and I’ll happily take the opportunity to say thank you to God and everyone else. Thank you all & may you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

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