What is Thanksgiving ?

Either because we are so accustomed to hearing the word or because we are so flooded with messages about Christmas, the meaning of the word, Thanksgiving, and the holiday itself is endangered. Giving thanks is the essence of the word but how can that happen in the rush of our modern pace?

Pausing to reflect is the starting place. That alone is often difficult to do. But if you want to discover thanksgiving, begin by finding a way to slow your pace. One of my favorite fall activities is walking. The heat of summer is over and the glorious beauty of fall screams to be noticed. Fall leaves alone are worthy of a moment of thanksgiving. Think how dull our world would be with no color! Start by giving thanks for color. Then move to other glories like hills and mountains, streams and rivers, birds and animals.

But to whom do we say thank you? Perhaps the answer to this question is why there is such a lack of thanksgiving in our world, our country and in our hearts. When we forget or ignore the Giver of all gifts we have no one to thank. And then Thanksgiving, the giving of thanks, loses its meaning.

Perhaps this year, this Thanksgiving, you can encourage your family to return this holiday to its historical meaning. It is a day to focus on giving thanks to the God of heaven who has abundantly given us much to enjoy and more than we deserve.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures,” Thornton Wilder

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