Perspective is defined as “a mental view or outlook.” I wonder sometimes if our perspective doesn’t become so egocentric that we believe that everything that happens that is outside of my perspective is an affront to me personally. We seem to lash out at anyone who disagrees with our views as if to say an individual has no value if they don’t agree with me.
...an individual has no value if they don’t agree with me
The purpose of this weekly blog is to work against such attitudes and yet don’t we all fall into that kind of thinking at times? Our total focus is on the things that we disagree with. The result is total negativity and the assumption of the worst motive in everything someone does.
In such an environment, is there room for thankfulness? This Thursday we celebrate a national holiday called Thanksgiving. The origin of the holiday goes back to 1621 when those Pilgrims who survived the first winter and were mentored in the planting of crops by the Native Americans, celebrated with them the abundant fall harvest. They gave thanks to God for preserving and protecting them and, indeed blessing them in this way. Thanksgiving was recognized and celebrated intermittently until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day. Lincoln’s proclamation called for "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." In his proclamation he also called upon the American people, "with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience ... [to] fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation..."
The holiday we know was actually established at the end of our great Civil War. The focus, however, was never on the people. It was always on God, to show thanks and praise for getting the people through horrific times.
Is there room for thankfulness? Can we pray that God would heal the open wounds of our nation?
What about today? Is there room for thankfulness? Can we pray that God would heal the open wounds of our nation? Can people come together again?
My answer is that there is room for thankfulness for sure. I am thankful for the blessing of a wonderful wife of 41 years and three amazing children, plus their spouses and our precious grandchildren. I thank God to live in a nation where our freedom of speech is protected, we can worship if and how we please and are free to pursue our dreams, whatever they may be. There are various views about what a good government looks like and yet America’s promise of freedom is enough to cause millions of people, likely even billions, to look longingly at our country as a place where freedom reigns supreme.
More than anything, I am thankful that regardless of who leads our country, what form of government we have and even how oppressed we might someday be, we have a God who is greater than any nation. Our God’s promise of forgiveness and salvation is there for all who trust in Jesus no matter what we experience in this world.
What are you thankful for? Can you look beyond political elections national leadership and prosperity (or lack thereof) and identify all that you have to be thankful for? Can we pause and give thanks together without focusing on our differences but focusing on our blessings? I’d like to know what you are thankful for.