How many children were asked by a leader in church this past Sunday what the word Thanksgiving made them think about? Answers like God, family, friends, food, turkey, pumpkin pie, Indians, Pilgrims and lots of food and lots of people would likely be heard. Then after a little more thought, thoughts like being thankful, church, November, an American holiday and freedom would be said. This Sunday, just before Thanksgiving, also comes soon after Veterans Day and some people probably remember the emphasis on the word freedom.
It is most certainly time to recall how our forefathers were so appreciative that they had survived that first year in the new country. Yes, they had survived but so many of their numbers had not. They had to learn to live without most of the services such as medicine, food supply and ready supplies needed to keep them alive. It was a time for the Pilgrims to be thankful for the help from their neighbors, the Indians. Although there was a ready supply of food in the new country, everything was so strange.
In today’s world, even here on Stinking Creek, we have so many services, so many helpful programs and interested people that we have a tendency to take all for granted. We think that when we flip on the switch there should be all the light we need without us doing anything to earn or make that light. We are blessed with all we need to supply heat and ways to cook our food, but how many of us really have provided that for ourselves. Or do we want heat without thought on how to supply it. Speaking from years of experience, there is a deep satisfaction from knowing first hand the meaning of “twice warm” wood.
Real thanksgiving comes from a deep appreciation for the blessings that are all about us to be used for our good and the good of our neighbors; a sincere gratitude to another person for an act of kindness whether it be a cool drink of water or a life saving act; a feeling of good health, even though we have a tendency to ignore good health rules; a beyond-the-ability to express the beauty of a flower, or a landscape or a sunset; a soul felt satisfaction from music, whether it be a hymn of our memories or just touches something so deep; or the feeling of accomplishment from solving a problem be it a perfect mathematical equation, a personal conflict without or within; or the realization of a oneness with our great Creator—being a part or His Creation. Thanksgiving Day—a time to say a sincere and heart-felt thank you.