Blessed to Share
When I was a child, giving God thanks for the many blessings we enjoyed was the focus of our Thanksgiving holiday. We started the day at Church. I loved the harvest decorations. I don’t remember a big family gathering. The four of us did have a feast with roast chicken from our farm.
Over my lifetime, the focus of our thanksgiving celebration has morphed from God into a family. We still give thanks, although for many God is left out of the equation. There are so many who believe their lives are totally the fruit of their own efforts. They have worked hard and deserve all the goodness they have received.
Along came Covid 19 last year. The Thanksgiving family gatherings all but disappeared. We were reduced to a virtual gathering on the internet. This year, we can return to the family celebration, especially if we are fully vaccinated and we follow Covid rules.
My hope is that we come to this Thanksgiving with a new wisdom. For almost two years, God has come to us in people, pets, books and more, giving us strength and comfort during the pandemic. Although we have been lonely, we have endured even the grief from loss of loved ones, lifestyle, work. We have learned that life is not totally ours to control. And still, blessings have continued to come to us. Let’s stop and list those blessings. Maybe write a few every day because it will take a while.
Even before your list is complete, look for opportunities to share with others. Our Christian faith says, “Give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Most religions, not just Christianity, tell us we are “blessed to share”.
I know there is so much need, and my blessings are endless. I’ll begin with an international student I know who could use some help. Then there is the bag of socks I bought a few months ago that didn’t fit just right. I never quite remembered to return them for a refund. The Spirit is telling me to donate them to the Salvation Army who will get them to those who need them. I’ll give away some of my books. Place them in the tiny street libraries that I see around town. And, of course, there are always the actions I’ve done before, like sending a card to a friend, or cooking a meal for someone who needs it. I believe I have been overwhelmingly blessed just in being alive and gifted with my five senses. This year, I want to make sure I do extra sharing. Then I will truly be celebrating Thanksgiving.
I challenge all you who read this column, on Thanksgiving Day, enjoy your precious family time for sure. But make the centre of your celebrations a true thanksgiving for all the gifts you have received, all the gifts you have shared and all you will continue to share.