TITLE: A Time of Thanksgiving
By Jerry Ousley
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By Jerry D. Ousley
This is the week of feasting! My mouth can’t wait for a generous “chunk” of that succulent turkey, delicious ham, mashed potatoes and a sundry of wonderfully prepared vegetables. And then, just when you think you can’t eat another bite, your eyes fall on the table covered with deserts that make your mouth juices begin to flow. It’s fun.
But the celebration sometimes misses the mark. We feast in celebration of the time when the Pilgrims, after living through the hard, harsh winter, gathered with the Native Americans, who were largely responsible for teaching them how to get through the winter, and feasted. It was a time of giving thanks to God for blessing, life, and friendship, all of which are very worthy of thanksgiving.
I’m happy for time off from work to honor this precious holiday. But I can’t help but think, “Shouldn’t we be just as thankful each and every day?” Each morning we get up from bed, and have the health to get ready for work; each time we fill ourselves with nourishment; each time we lay down safely for a good night’s rest, shouldn’t we be thankful?
If we take the time to look around us at all the misfortune in this world, we should be inspired to give God thanks. It is only by His grace that we are not that child from Sudan, with stomach swollen from starvation. It is only by God’s Divine grace that we aren’t living in a grass hut struggling for existence. We enjoy prosperity, with plenty to eat, a different outfit of clothing to wear each day, freedom to move about as we please, experiencing all the modern conveniences and comforts of life, and all the while complaining about the minor things that might inconvenience us.
How often have you heard someone respond to a brisk “good morning” by saying “what’s so good about it?” In our small but pleasant Community, we are wonderfully blessed. If we just think about it, the annoyances that most of us grieve over are very minute compared to the plagues of the world today. When I catch myself complaining about a minor ache or pain, then think of those who are suffering from terrible, incurable diseases in this world, I am ashamed. When I catch myself complaining about a dish that isn’t salty enough, or is a little over cooked, then think of those in this world who are thankful for a piece of molded bread, I am ashamed.
This Thanksgiving, let’s really begin to give thanks. Let’s realize that God has chosen to bless us with plenty, not to selfishly lavish ourselves, but to be able to help those who are poverty stricken, dying in starvation and disease. Then, let’s begin to have “thanksgiving” each and every day.
Have a good Thanksgiving feast. But don’t forget to give thanks . . .
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