Some company has a nice advertisement on television right now suggesting that instead of asking What we are thankful for, that we ask Who we are thankful for. I like that idea because our relationships are so much superior in importance than the inanimate objects we use or collect.
I suggest we would do well to go one step further and ask to Whom we should be thankful. In our culture we seem to have developed a generalized gratitude for the incredible blessings that we have in our United States, but it is no longer clear there is anyone specific to whom we should be thankful or grateful. We just bask in our blessedness. Most of us have more food than we should eat, more clothes than we will ever wear again, automobiles now costing more than our first houses did in the 1970’s—the stuff goes on and on.
In 1863, in the midst of our Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day for Thanksgiving. Apparently written by Secretary of State William Seward, the Proclamation spoke of fruitful fields and healthful skies, harmony except within the theater of military conflict, a growing population, these blessings described as great things. . . the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
As appropriate even 152 years ago, the President invited the citizens to observe it as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. It was not an establishment of religion. He did not ask for power to enforce it as a law, but spoke from personal convictions.
Although many matters of our culture have changed, I remain thankful to the gracious God of my fathers for His undeserved and unbelievable gifts including all of the people in my life, the principles and concepts available to us, and yes, the stuff too. I hope that you will give thought to Whom you believe is responsible for making it possible for our life in these United States today, no matter your personal conclusion.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advice is intended to be general in nature.