Let us all be thankful
The Way I See It
by DON WEST
Most of us are gathering today with family and friends to give thanks for our abundance. Someone, in a conversation we had earlier in the week, said they really liked Thanksgiving, because it was what holidays are all about. There are no gifts to be concerned with, just the gathering of families and friends, to visit, enjoy good food and celebrate our bountiful lives. Most of us have much to be thankful for, but it seems to me that those who have the least are the very ones who are most appreciative. God reminds me of all that I have, when He brings my attention to a lady, whom I know has much less than some, and while battling a devastating disease, gives a bag of groceries to those who have less.
I wonder why we, who have so much, seem to be less appreciative than those who can find room to give, when their resources seem to be much smaller. I also wonder why, when God has given us brothers and sisters to love and cherish, we can find so many petty reasons to be jealous of one another. I wonder why we take so little time to marvel over the beautiful gifts of nature that surround us every day, yet we spend hours in front of the television or the computer, mesmerized by a box of electronic wizardry and mindless nonsense the industry calls entertainment. I wonder why we choose to teach our children that the kind of car we drive, the house we live in, or the brand of clothes that we buy has greater meaning than a kind heart, a gentle caress, or a thougthful word shared with a friend. Though we will send care packages to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes around the world, we will ignore the homeless and hungry 10 months out of the year, right in our own backyard. Though our brothers and sisters could be taken away from us in a heartbeat, through the ravages of some disease, or in a tragic accident, we cannot see beyond our own selfish whims, or get over petty annoyances. I wonder. Why is that?
I wonder why we seem to want to ignore the responsibilities that life demands us to accept, why we want to blame others, why we want schools, churches, or the government to fix the things that we refuse to fix. If we teach our children revenge instead of love, no law at school or church can reverse it. If we practice anger or hold a grudge instead of practicing forgiveness, the legislature cannot pass a law to overcome an evil heart. If greed, selfishness, and jealousy rule our lives at home, laws cannot protect society from it.
If today is a day of Thanksgiving, then let us give thanks for the fact that we realize the inadequacies of human life. We can and do recognize that we are weak in the flesh and be thankful that God, through the mercy of forgiveness, gives us a chance to reconcile our faults. Let us also be thankful that we fully recognize the fact that this invitation for forgiveness is not open-ended, but will expire. Thank God for notifying us on this Thanksgiving Day that time will pass quickly, that today is the day when we must forgive our sisters and brothers, today is the day that we must turn our anger into love, today is the day we must reach out and hug those on whom we have turned our backs. Today must be the day for reconciliation of a life full of jealousy, greed, and selfish acts of hatred toward our fellow man.
Today, let us all pause to give thanks, not just for the turkey and dressing, but for the opportunity to reconcile differences that interfere with the love we have for each other. I am thankful for the examples that God places in my life, so that I may know of the bounties that I have received. I am thankful for those who recognize my gifts, and for those who remind me of my responsibilities when I use those gifts, that I be mindful of who can be affected and how they can be affected. I give thanks for family, friends, good health, and the opportunity to share my talents with all of you.
May God’s richest blessings be with you and your families on this day and throughout your lives.
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