Here it is. It’s another year and another Thanksgiving Day. A lot of people take holidays like this for granted, talking in terms like, “turkey day”, “t-day”, and just “the holidays”. This time of year, and the idea of a Thanksgiving is much deeper than that.
Thanksgiving has its beginnings so long ago that nobody knows just where it came from. For me it is a Biblical thing. For others it is just an ancient fall celebration for a bountiful harvest, and the promise of being able to survive the ensuing winter. Both viewpoints are closely intertwined.
The whole point is to express thanks for our bounty. To whom, or what, is this thanks to be directed? Logic and history tells us that the tradition began and continues as an expression of thanks to God, or for pagans, to whatever god they nominate. It also means that there have been times when harvests have not been bountiful, and the prospect of starvation was a very real thing. This is also a present day concern for many.
In addition to material blessings there is a lot more for which to be thankful. Health is the really big one. Without one’s health, life can be difficult, and for some, painful everyday. We are also thankful for the closeness and love of the people in our lives.
Thanksgiving goes much further than just saying thanks. It is also a time to help people who are not in a position to partake of the bounty. We have a responsibility to feed the poor, and to care for those who cannot take care of themselves.
I thank God for my family, my wonderful wife, my beautiful children, and my warm home. Even though we lost our son eleven years ago, we are thankful for the twenty-one years we had with that wonderful person.
Today, Thanksgiving Day, be thankful for those things and people you have. God has given us so much, and has taken away the horror of impending starvation, punishment, and sorrow that other people around the world have to endure. It is our responsibility to share our blessings.