True Thanksgiving is remembering with gratitude
A tremendous event occurred in 1621 that left a lasting impression on the American mind. That event gave us one of our more significant national holidays.
After a devastating winter of illness and hardship — that was followed by a good summer — ended with a bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims at Plymouth feasted, and gave thanks for four days. Each year, on the last Thursday in November, we pause to remember that special event, as we gather with family and friends around a bountiful table loaded with turkey and all the trimmings. Then, sated to capacity we, in a leisurely fashion, turn on the television and spend the afternoon lazily watching some sporting event.
But true thanksgiving is more! It is remembering, like the Pilgrims, with deep gratitude, the abundant blessings we have received and taking note of the source from which those blessings come.
Like those sturdy Pilgrims at Plymouth, not all has been well. Life has not been a bed of roses. We, too, have experienced numerous difficulties and faced many problems that tried our souls. In the midst of those unpleasant experiences, we have, in a moment of discouragement, cried out from the depth of our hearts, “Why me, Lord?”
But there is more, much more. Most of us have discovered with Matthew Henry that, after a storm comes a calm, and that calm has brought peace and prosperity to our lives. The storms have passed, and we were led through them. Like the Pilgrims at Plymouth, problems and difficulties are behind, and life has turned out well. After a winter of turmoil, there has been an abundant harvest.
So maybe instead of taking a nap on that comfortable couch during that sporting event, we should get down on our knees before it, and take a few minutes to remember the many blessings we have been given, and give thanks to the great provider of those abundant blessings.