CornucopiaI have been writing a Thanksgiving column long enough now to be a tradition. Since pilgrim time, and again since 1863, Thanksgiving in these United States is a great tradition itself. It is our best holiday now especially because, other than perhaps decorations and flower arrangements, there are no expensive gifts that need to be given to people that do not need anything. The commercialization sticks to Halloween and Christmas. More on that later.
Instead we are privileged to concentrate on giving thanks to our Creator God for His spiritual mercy to us and tangible physical blessings for us. In view of history, President Washington declared such a holiday soon after the ravages of the Revolutionary War. President Lincoln made his declaration in September following the carnage of Gettysburg that summer. In all, 7,000 had died, 33,000 were wounded, and almost 11,000 were missing from July 1st through the 3rd.
Our killed and wounded today are the result of our own sick and sinful hands. The awful truth is that as a people, we practice violence despite all of our education and general prosperity. We use guns, knives, hands and feet, anything handy when our hatred spews out. We are still in desperate need of a loving, forgiving, transforming God. You can disagree vehemently with me and I am thankful you have the right to do so.
This year, we are thankful that the election is almost complete, awaiting the convening of the Electoral College. I am thankful that we are not likely to suffer a bloody coup, that members of the losing party will (and should, just as in other post-election years) lose their current jobs, but not their lives. As stated here before, the leadership may change, but it is up to folks like you and me to rise every day and perform our services to help ourselves and our communities. I thank God we can be productive and valuable to each other regardless of our creeds, ethnicities, gender, or any other differences.
I am thankful for people around us like Larry Cook who died November 20th. Larry was one of the more quiet, steady, effective members of our society who led by example. I’m sure he was not perfect, but to me, he wore many important hats. He was a faithful deacon in my church as I grew up. He helped many of us in Boy Scout troop 236 take an incredible trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in the 1960’s as well as numerous adventures at H. Roe Bartle Reservation.
He faithfully taught thousands, both youth and adult students, through his paid job as teacher and Adult Education Director in the Independence School District. He served Jackson County and the world as a Rotarian in the Independence West Rotary Club and then in later years in the Independence Rotary Club. He served his loving wife, Wanda, and their children, and grandchildren as long as he could. Then I watched as Wanda has faithfully served him as an example to us all.
I am grateful that individuals like Larry make more difference for good in our world than all of the Presidents and Congressmen who have ever lived. I have no idea what all will happen in the next months and years, but I know and completely entrust myself and all whom I love to the hands and attention of our great God. I am thanking Him for all that has happened and all that is yet to come.
(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advice is intended to be general in nature.)