Thanksgiving has become neglected in holiday season

| November 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Daniel Collins
19th Military Police Battalion (CID), 6th MP Group (CID), U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command

It seems like time flies even faster now than it did when I was growing up.

It feels like it was just summer — and maybe the climate, here, has something to do with that — and now it’s the end of the year, and we see Christmas decorations in stores.



No doubt, the decorations are beautiful and put us in the spirit of the season.
An unfortunate by-product of this phenomenon is that we seem to forget that there is another holiday of the season: Thanksgiving.

I can remember, when I was young, a growing excitement once we came to Halloween; it would soon be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. I’ve always loved Thanksgiving.

Earlier in life, of course, it was the first of many great big meals with lots of family members gathered and, of course, being from Southern Virginia, Thanksgiving was also a great morning of hunting — not that I always had good luck hunting, but just being outdoors was a great motivator.

As I grew older and some family members passed away, and there were additions to our family, and the gatherings changed, I realized, as the season came along each year, that regardless of the situation or the activity, we needed to be thankful. That’s why we have the season of Thanksgiving.

I know we’ve all heard the story of the first Thanksgiving. There is a lot of debate as to whether the story is true; it’s hard to know for sure because I haven’t met anyone who was there, and to my knowledge, there’s no authoritative written record.

Regardless, the gist of the story is the same: The early settlers chose a day to give thanks for the mercy shown to them during the first year in the New World. Then, so many years later, during the Civil War, the holiday that we know as Thanksgiving was made an official holiday.

The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18,“In everything give thanks.” In this verse, Paul tells us that it is God’s will that we be thankful in all things.

Some may say, “How am I supposed to be thankful for the heartaches I experience, the trials, the tragedies, in addition to the good things?”

Sometimes we don’t always experience the good things in life. We take the good with the bad, but we can still be thankful. Those things that we may not enjoy (the painful times of life, the disappointments, etc.) only serve to mold us to make us better stewards of the great blessings God has in store for us, so we need to be thankful.

The pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving didn’t always have the best of circumstances, but they were still thankful. May we take a cue and be thankful in all things, not only during the “season” of Thanksgiving, but every day, in every thing.

“In everything give thanks.”

May you all experience the richest of God’s blessing during this season.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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