Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving and You

The annual celebration of the holiday Thanksgiving is upon us again which has caused me to reflect upon it.  What is it to me and to you?  The title of this blog is to stimulate you to think about what Thanksgiving means to you. 

Since my birthday falls near Thanksgiving, I grew up in my early years thinking that everyone celebrated my birthday by giving thanksgiving that I was born! 
As I got older, I discovered that it was not all about my birthday to my great chagrin!  I learned that it had to do with gratitude to God for helping the Pilgrims to have a good harvest which allowed them to survive up until then and into the new year.  So, it was gratitude to God for survival and for the provisions for a new year. 

So, this time of year, I reflect upon my survival since the last Thanksgiving in terms of life, health and blessings in the way of family, friends, food, shelter and other blessings from Him.  Even though I have not received the things that I have hoped and prayed for, I am grateful to God for what he has given to me.  We all have seen illnesses and death suffered by ourselves, family and friends. Therefore, we are grateful for the health and healthcare that we do enjoy.  We have seen disasters throughout the world including as near as the Northeast and see on the news stories about people in need of electricity for heat, for shelter and for food.  We see the developing conflict in the Holy Land between Gaza and Israel and all the deaths, injuries, destruction and suffering.  Therefore, in contrast to those tragedies we must be grateful for not having natural catastrophes and for not having war and terrorism.
 We cannot take these for granted as New York City has learned from 9-11 and from the superstorm Sandy.  However, we can, must and should thank God for what we do have.

It is very disconcerting to have this wonderful holiday of depth and meaning turned into one of superficial self-indulgences.  Food, drink, football games, black Friday sales starting on Thanksgiving evening to get an earlier start of sales and, thus, depriving those employees and their families the opportunity to enjoy the day. Just as the consumerism and marketing have taken away the meaning of Christ out of Christmas, our society is diminishing the meaning of Thanksgiving by removing God as the focus of our thanks. 

Please reflect upon your blessings during the last year including your life, your health such as it may be, your intelligence and ability to just read this blog, and everything that you can recall.  Think of the meaning and fortitude of your tribulations during the last year.  Then, thank God for your survival and blessings and thank Him for the survival and blessings given to family and friends.  And, remember those who have passed in the last year and pray for them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let me know what you think.

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!

REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer

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