The following is a posting I wrote for the Our Echo website this morning, and I decided to use it here today, as well.
It becomes a cliche to say that you have much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving time. But maybe that's all right. After all, isn't Thanksgiving a perfect nudge to our conscience, a time to reflect on all the blessings we do have?
Imagine how difficult it must have been for the Pilgrims to feel grateful after the year of hardship they endured when they arrived in this, then unsettled, country of ours. It might have been easier to list all the rotten things that they'd put up with during that year, but they gathered together to feast and give their thanks to God. Maybe the first thing they were thankful for was that they were still alive. Many had been lost.
It's all too easy to let our trials and tribulations pile up so high that we can't see over them to the things we can and should be grateful for. In the difficult economic times we are in now, with our military fighting wars on foreign soil, and our politicians at war with one another in Washington, our concerns are great. But so are the blessings.
My personal blessings are a loving husband, children and grandchildren whom I'm proud to call my own, a country to live in that has more freedoms than almost any other place on earth. I have never wanted for food, clothing, or shelter. I have friends, both near and far, whom I can count on in good times and bad. I have been able to pursue a freelance writing career/hobby late in life that has been one of the most satisfying things I've ever done. I have health problems but nothing that keeps me from participating in life to the fullest, or keeps me from serving others in various ways.
We humans have perfected whining and complaining to a fine art. I'm no exception. I do my share of it at times, too. But this week, as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, or even alone, set aside the complaints and make a list of the reasons you have to be grateful. Keep adding to it as the week goes on. You'll meet some of those blessings in your daily walk through life. Then give thanks to Him who made them possible.