By Greg Quinn
November 21, 2005
We are coming up on the holiday we call Thanksgiving. Named in recognition of the treaty between the Settlers and the Indians, and their breaking bread and fellowship together, Thanksgiving has become a holiday synonymous with families getting together to eat and enjoy one another’s company. While this in itself is a great thing, as families need to spend much more time together, I think we need to look into the original and a deeper spiritual meaning.
The Settlers started this tradition, not to recognize making peace with the natives of early America, but to give thanks to the one and only Holy God that got them through the difficulties that led to this peaceful co-existence. The Settlers had a tough time, braving wars with natives, weather, lack of provisions, etc. They celebrated Thanksgiving to celebrate the God who got them through all those difficulties.
So, fast forward a couple hundred years or so and we find ourselves in celebration of this same holiday. But, I fear that we in modern America today don’t celebrate the same holiday, the same God, and in the same manner. Today, people are too busy. We are self-reliant and don’t need God. We have been so ingrained by bad theology, different religions, no religion, feelings that we alone can handle our lives, lack of time for family and friends, the quest for the almighty dollar, etc. that we don’t take the time to thank God for all the blessings He alone has given us. We hardly have time to meet as families. Families are so dysfunctional and separated that it is rare for an entire family to meet around a table to eat together. We don’t celebrate the same God; only some estimated 10% of Americans are faithful followers of Christ. And, we don’t celebrate in the same manner; with a spirit of reverence and thankfulness to God who has provided for us all of the blessings we enjoy as Americans.
What should we do? How can we regain that spirit of the Settlers?
This modern praise song says it pretty well….give thanks.
There is much scripture in the Bible in regard to giving thanks, and the attitude we should have in regards to our thankfulness to God for all the blessings He has given us. Here are a couple of good examples.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, how do we go into this holiday with the right attitude? I have a few suggestions.
First, try to understand the original intent and spirit of the holiday. Read the true story of the first Thanksgiving. Realize the dedication to God and thankful spirit these Settlers had toward God for getting them through the hardships.
Second, try to understand the God that the Settlers worshipped. Pick up a copy of the Holy Bible. If you can only read one book, read the book of Romans in the New Testament. It provides some historical information as well as an outline of a plan in how you can totally change your life for the better by accepting the gift of life through Jesus Christ. If it’s hard for you to understand, call a local Pastor of a protestant church in your town (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, etc.) and set up a time to meet with him. He should be able to help you in your understanding. Or, tune in on the TV to a minister like Charles Stanley, Joyce Meyer, Adrian Rogers, Joel Osteen, or Ed Young. Or, you might find on your local cable station the weekly broadcast of a local Baptist church, for example. Or, tune into a Billy Graham crusade. In any event, you owe it to yourself to find out more about the God that the Settlers worshipped. This understanding will help you deal with all the difficulties of your life, and keep a good attitude while doing so.
Third, make a list of all your blessings. No matter how poor, how lonely, how desperate, how uncomfortable, etc., you have many things you can be thankful for. If you think there is nothing in your life that you consider a blessing, the fact that you can read this is a blessing (as many are blind), the fact that you are reading this on a computer is a blessing (as many don’t have a computer), the fact that you are more than likely living in a house or apartment is a blessing (as many don’t have shelter), and the fact that you are reading this and not in a hospital bed or morgue is a blessing. If you think you have it bad, go through a poorer section of town and you may see those that have it worse. If you are upset because you are lonely, realize that God is always with you and be thankful for that. So, make a list. Make it as big as possible. Write down everything you can think of that is something for which you can be thankful. Then, put it up on the front of your refrigerator at home where you’ll see it. Or, tape it on the corner of your bathroom mirror. Anywhere you’ll see this list on a regular basis to make you think about how good you do have it, how it could be much worse, and how you are thankful for all the blessings that you do have.
Fourth, spend time with your family. In a time when we are all too busy for family, break the trend and spend more time with your family. Locate your brothers and sisters. Call them. See if you can meet for the holiday. If your parents are alive, visit them. Get your wife and children together and start a tradition of family time together, beginning on Thanksgiving morning. Spend time with your family.
Finally, learn to be thankful. Even if you don’t fully understand all you need to know about an appreciation to God, about becoming a Christian, about following the examples that God has given us, you can still make it a habit to say “thanks” for all the good things that happen to you in life. The Settlers thanked God even in difficult situations, because they knew it could be much worse. Why don’t we do the same? Say “thanks” to God.
We Gunblast brothers have much to be thankful for. We have a great family. We have friends. We have our health. Our parents are both still alive, though not in the greatest of health. We have love one toward another. We have children. Jeff even has a grandchild that we all love. We have a close relationship with cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, nephews, nieces, etc. We all live in comfortable homes. We have guns to shoot and write about. We have the great Gunblast business opportunity that God has given us, along with the responsibility to be faithful to our readership. We have you Gunblast readers, to whom we are grateful for your time. And, most of all, we have Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and along with that the knowledge that one day we will all spend eternity in Heaven together, as a family, with God and Jesus, and what a Thanksgiving celebration that will be.
We wish you the very best this Thanksgiving season. Be thankful. Give thanks.
- Greg Quinn
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