Whom Will You Thank this Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving Day has become my favorite holiday.
There is no doubt what it stands for. It is built into the name.
Santa has co-opted Christmas. The Bunny rules over Easter. But Thanksgiving Day begs the question of giving thanks, but to whom or what?
We have dedicated an entire day in our nation to expressing appreciation and gratitude. Our culture looks to bring attention to the native Americans who assisted the poor white Europeans who were starving and lost in the wilderness. In this rendition, there is no recognition of divine intervention. It is simply two cultures coming together, one helping the other. The unspoken back story with this rendition is that the poor white Europeans would attempt to annihilate the very people who we are to be thankful for. A day of mourning and atonement would be more appropriate.
Are we to give thanks to Mother Nature who supplies this bounty?
As with the native Americans, we have done our best to strip her resources to our advantage and leave behind a wasteland for future generations.
Who would treat their loving, giving mother this way?
It is difficult to identify and thank Mother Nature. In any case, it is likely she is not looking forward to hearing from us. We have pushed plastic and pollution throughout her territory. We have stripped large parts of the world and left nothing but sand and hard, cracked, unproductive earth. We have been her favorite child getting all the good stuff, but like spoiled children, we do not appreciate or take care of what we’ve been given.
If we continue, she may turn her back on us. Who then would we thank?
There is only one place a good Anglo-Saxon Protestant like myself can turn:
I turn to the Judeo-Christian God of the universe and the Creator of all things.
I join a billion-plus people on this earth who believe in this same Creator.
There is no need to wait for a national holiday to thank God.
Rather, we should walk daily in prayer and amazement. We should realize that we are created beings who have done terrible deeds to the people and resources we have been given control of.
We should give thanks because we know for certain that we are not worthy of what has been handed to us.
We should be grateful that our God gave us the intellect to chose not to believe, to make bad choices, to ignore guidance and warnings that have been written down and passed along for thousands of years.
In the same way, we should be grateful that God has given us the ability to reason, to humble ourselves, to serve others, and to be thankful. I am thankful for my many blessings in this world – and I will be thanking God for every one of them.
Who will you thank this Thanksgiving?
Rick Allen is CEO of MedSend, an organization that removes the obstacle of student loan debt for Christian healthcare professionals serving as long-term medical missionaries.
Healthcare remains the only form of access as a Christian witness in many countries.
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