When you look around, you might sense there is less to be thankful about than usual as we approach the close of 2019.
It’s a natural feeling. We’re winding down, but there are still too many families separated by war. Divisions are causing havoc in the country almost to the point where we can’t have a civil conversation. The economy is improving but we all know someone still struggling paycheck to paycheck – or even worse – without a viable job. There are still too many people living at or below poverty. Our youth continue to be literally under siege – staring at experimentation and exploitation of seemingly uncontrolled drugs, unbridled sex, wanton violence and unparalleled peer pressure … all at a younger and younger age. Our families are under attack. Our morals – what’s left of them in an increasingly immoral world – are constantly challenged. There is still too much racial, cultural and class intolerance.
Life continues to be tough for families and children, for employees and employers, for church and state. Life changed after the senselessness of Sept. 11 and even after 18 years, it’s aftermath is one of gratuitous acts of violence and the ever-present threat of terrorism home and abroad. Those with family in the military feel a certain anxiousness that could dampen the holidays.
But that’s not the right feeling … not the true meaning of the Thanksgiving tradition.
Despite the problems within and without our own little circles, there is a lot to give thanks for this Thanksgiving Day. Above all, we thank God for our very lives and the lives of all we touch and who touch us. That inter-connection itself is wider than you might imagine.
Most of us this Thanksgiving will gather with family and/or friends around the table. We’ll continue the tradition started by the Pilgrims in 1621 … one that is more than turkey and stuffing … one that includes praise, thanksgiving, sharing and caring.
Thanksgiving is more than a day off to share with family and friends, sample the stuffing before the bird reaches the table or munch on leftovers while watching football games on television. It’s a day to look inward as well as outward … a day to recognize we still have much to be thankful for, despite all the problems in our nation and world.
It is truly a day for Thanksgiving.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. — Robert Louis Stevenson