Thanksgiving, what does it mean to you?

| November 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Michael A. McGruder
Battalion Chaplain
715th Military Intelligence Battalion
500th MI Brigade

Chaplain (Capt.) Michael A. McGruder
Battalion Chaplain
715th Military Intelligence Battalion
500th MI Brigade

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — As we looked forward to the tradition and celebration of the season of Thanksgiving, a time in which delicacies are prepared with careful hands, as turkeys are stuffed with delight and potatoes are mashed and fluffed in preparation of a snow fall of turkey gravy, many participated in a day of observation and didn’t really know the origin.

What does Thanksgiving really mean? Often when asked, the consensus may reply, “It’s about food, family and football.”

But if you are anything like me, growing up in the Texas school system, you learned about the Mayflower, the pilgrims with their funny looking hats, long dusty socks and square-tipped shoes eating turkey and ears of corn with their Native American neighbors. But does that story truly reflect the day set aside in November known to all today as Thanksgiving?

I dare not bore you with a history lesson; however, allow me to clear the waters so that we can see the actual picture. Most historians agree that Thanksgiving day was created by the Pilgrims to signify unity at the close of the Civil War. The pilgrims were not known to have chronicled their story to share because their journey was one of survival.

What most people do not know is the pilgrims embarked on the long journey across the Atlantic not for new exploration, but for the right to, wait for it, “worship freely.” Imagine that, seems like history repeating itself in what we see in our society today. As they reached North America on the Mayflower, the pilgrims celebrated and gave thanks because they survived the journey. They celebrated surviving the first year on provisions they used to cross the Atlantic, for the rains to yield their first harvest, and they were thankful to worship without persecution.

So now I ask, what did Thanksgiving mean to you? Think about it. What has your journey looked like? What oceans of life have you crossed? What storms of life have you survived? What provision has allowed you to be where you are today?
I would submit to you that Thanksgiving is not an event, but a mindset. Thanksgiving is not a day, but a way of life. Thanksgiving is not a time, but an atmosphere. Do you as the reader have something to be thankful for? I can think of one thing right off the bat. I am thankful that you have the breath of life to breathe another day. Another reason, I am thankful is that you have the ability and the opportunity to live life to its fullest no matter what obstacles you may be facing.

Okay, one more reason to be thankful: I am thankful that you, yes you, have a story. Oh, yes; your life is a story. Write it well and edit often. Thanksgiving, what does it mean to you?

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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