Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday celebrated by us all...but are we truly giving thanks the way it should be? To whom and for what?
The turkey is done and all has been prepared for what we traditionally do every fourth Thursday in November. We will again break bread among family and friends. Alas, this is a different one you say - special and has more meaning than any of the others, right? I feel you, but lamentations are in order for me. We call it ‘Thanksgiving’, but in these trying times who are we thanking and giving what to whom? I can only speak for myself and hope that you see where I’m coming from. I’m thinking that there are a few of us not truly understanding the real meaning to Thanksgiving from a spiritual point of view, and giving thanks in another realm of reality. I think too, of the ones that will not have a Thanksgiving in an economical way, nor those that are gone but who are not forgotten, and most importantly, those that have the audacity to take this holiday for granted. Are there any among us who would be willing to admit not giving thanks in a perfunctory and callous way? Or, not allowing status quo to rule our initiatives benevolently while keeping our heads to the sky?
The purpose of this short missive is simple. Think logically and with a sense of purpose as you are positioned around your tables plied with the culinary flavor. We must remember what is always important during this time - giving thanks for our blessings and for the right reasons. It shouldn’t be lost on any of us that we are facing unusual challenges, both economic and emotional. To emphasize the aforementioned, many families find it increasingly hard to give thanks this year...they are struggling to keep roofs over their heads, and some simply do not have the ways and means to be solvent. History tells another story and gives credence to the traditional Thanksgiving celebration. But there’s a message to the madness then and now, and the venture wasn’t without miracles. In 1620 approximately 102 determined souls boarded the Mayflower and jammed themselves tight with barely enough room to maneuver and without other necessities for survival. Moreover, they risked their lives for beliefs and were willing to go to any lengths for religious freedom. Albeit, not all passengers were of the same ilk as the latter. A few were there for the prospects of monetary gain in the New World. This, they did for two reasons: Money and God. Those reasons manifested itself to form the American dream, but the dream quickly turned to be disastrous. The winter of their discontent gave harsh reality to what it means to dream without merit of truth to circumstance. To wit: The Pilgrims had settled on land no one else wanted, not even the native Americans of the region. History also tells us that the seeds of posterity were planted that solidified those dreams and formulated a tradition. And when the natives came to greet them, the settlers had the good Christian sense to come forward unarmed. That native tribe returned that risky gesture of goodwill and the two groups became friends and allies, thus feasting for three days. The message and the miraculous mantra that God made possible gave reason for rich and poor to share the same table.
I said all of that to say this in conclusion -- we all are blessed and should give thanks for a plethora of reasons, notwithstanding the chance that you are HERE! The American dream is alive today because God gave us reasons to give thanks the right way. Giving thanks appropriately should be in order, even when we stray. We are still the Pilgrims. We follow and nurture what we believe. We work hard. We strive to make our election and calling sure. We suffer together and should be sticking together. We should give peace a chance and be humble enough to reach out and touch someone! There’s a new beginning before us with a man of color in charge. Let’s share a feast and bow our heads pray for Obama, and give thanks the right way!