The SandPaper

Thankful Thanksgiving


To the Editor:

Rich or poor, how many thankful people have you ever met who start from the place of scarcity? Precious few, I bet. Because scarcity thinking is most often rooted in fear. The thankful people I have known are rooted in, or at least associated with, hope. Since their God can do a “new thing” (Isaiah 43:19), even in lean or dire circumstances, they are able to see potential for a new beginning.

Thanksgiving living is born through those who sow seeds of hope by doing for others. This harvest season is challenging for so many, relationally, financially, psychologically, physically, etc. For some, giving thanks may be hard this Thanksgiving.

Let each of us who are part of the “new thing” God is doing, speak and act with love and grace, offering hope to those living in fear. Let hope be embodied in our sincere and faithful actions at this harvest season and always.

Please let me share with you a few helpful thoughts for a meaningful Thanksgiving. 1) Give thanks for help in difficult times. We all experience difficult times. Give thanks for how God’s presence, comfort and strength have helped you get through such times in your lives. 2) Give thanks for the blessing of family and friends. Make a brief list of why you are thankful for the people with whom you will be spending Thanksgiving Day. And thank God for each of those people by name. On Thanksgiving tell each person why you are thankful for them. 3) Give thanks for sharing faith. Think of someone who has helped you know God better. Let that person know that you are thankful for their help and example of faith.

Finally, enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration, whether alone or in a large gathering. Take time to reflect on the meaning attached to this day. Whatever you do, live in the present and be thankful for it – from running errands to raking leaves (or if you live near the Great Lakes, shoveling snow). And finally, don’t let the sun go down without making a phone call to someone you wish to thank for what they mean to you. A brief verbal expression of thanks means a lot.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wesley A. Smith

Harvey Cedars

The writer is a retired pastor in the American Baptist Church, USA.

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