It’s Not About the Turkey

20 Nov

If you’re anything like me, you may not have been all that interested in history classes. And as much as I loved my 9th Grade World History teacher, Mrs. Thomas, she didn’t convert me to a history lover.

As I’ve gotten older, though, my interest in history has increased significantly. (I guess that’s a sign that I’m really getting OLD because I thought my parents were really OLD when they would talk about historical or political events or watch documentaries on TV! {grin}) So much of who we are, what we do, what we believe, and how we think stems from what our ancestors did, said, believed, and thought.

Take, for example, Thanksgiving Day. While the origin of our holiday originated with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians celebrating the first harvest in the Fall of 1621, President George Washington gave the day its first official stamp with his Thanksgiving Proclamation issued in 1789. If you haven’t read it before, it’s word a quick read – I promise it’s not that long. :)

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
New York, 3 October 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

[Source: Library of Congress]

It’s clear the intent of Thanksgiving celebrations was to thank God for the many blessings he has given us throughout the year. But we like to add so much more to the holiday, don’t we? Almost to the point where we forget all about being thankful, right?

We’re grumpy because we’re running late to catch our flight, mad because we forgot an ingredient at the grocery store, frustrated because the children won’t stop climbing all over the furniture, and annoyed because we’re having to listen to Uncle Jim Bob tell that story about wrestling the alligator AGAIN. Oh, but aren’t all those things blessings in and of themselves? The ability to fly, the money for groceries, the children to play, and the precious {if not a little cooky} family members . . . all blessings.

Just remember this week as you are frantically preparing a meal or quickly packing a suitcase to go out of town that it’s not about the turkey & dressing, the cranberry sauce, the pumpkin pie, or even the football games {What? Says who??}. And it’s not even about Black Friday and shopping ’til you drop.

It’s about remembering in our hearts how good God has been to us – yes, even in the midst of difficulty and struggles He has blessed us tremendously – and taking time to stop from our busy lives to say . . . thank you, Lord, we are grateful for everything.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: