In the wake of what is happening around the world and in our own country, our first response might be to complain. But it shouldn’t be, as we have a lot for which to be thankful.
Blessings sometimes get overlooked in the middle a of a crisis or when we are going through a storm. I try to remind myself that as long as there is food on the table and we have a roof over our head, we are truly blessed. Many in our country and even in our own communities, do not have a place to lie down at night and often go hungry. Whether some of these have brought this upon themselves is beside the point. If we call ourselves Christian, we are to be benevolent to others and lend a helping hand when possible.
Being hungry is nothing to turn your nose up about. Most of us have more than enough whether we want to admit or not. So much that we could share a meal with someone less fortunate. I challenge you to find someone who needs a meal and get it for them.
We have become too judgmental, too callous in the way we think about people. All lives matter and we need to quit finding fault and just do what we can when we can.
An acquaintance of mine recently asked why the news media doesn’t cover the stories about homeless people or those who do not have food to eat. Some do, but overall the mainstream media could really care less. They are more concerned with ratings and money than whether someone has enough food to eat or has shelter over their heads. Sad, but true.
When was the last time you did something for someone just for the sake of being kind or going out of your way to help? When was the last time you paid something forward?
While Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks, constant praise and thanksgiving should be on our lips. If you practice it instead of condemnation or complaints, it becomes a habit and your life more gratifying. The negativity wears you down and affects, not only your attitude, but the attitude of those around you.
If we have been what we consider, “burned” by someone we have tried to help or feel we were taken advantage of, it sours our wanting to help anyone else. But in reality, we aren’t to question, we are just to help when possible.
While we might enjoy Thanksgiving with our family and friends, there are people who are struggling just to live day to day. And many times we do not relate the fact that their are homeless people in our communities and children who go without meals, senior citizens who have no one who checks on them. Most of us don’t even want to talk about the subject, much less do something about it. We even fool ourselves by saying “we take care of our own”.
While we may tend to think about the homeless and less fortunate during the holidays, in reality, it is a way of life for them every day, not just at holidays and ignoring it doesn’t change anything.
Because we live in a rural area we might not notice a homeless person as much as we would if we lived in the urban areas. They are usually more hidden because of the woods and buildings they can find as a refuge to sleep and rest. We may never notice them and some people never even think about it as they just are programmed that way. But homeless and hungry people exist right here at home.
And yet, we complain about everything. Gratitude requires constant expression. It comes alive when we show love to others and offer a helping hand because it then becomes productive and fruitful. I saw a sign once that said it is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful peole who are happy. Makes sense.
We should reflect on our blessings regularly, not just during the season of thankfulness. As you sit down to the big Thanksgiving meal with your loved ones, I urge you to reflect on what you could do for someone else that would make a difference in their lives. Take time to visit a senior citizens center to brighten their lives. Take food to a family you know is struggling.
Count your blessings not your troubles. Focus more on the blessings and the troubles won’t seem so troublesome.
Regardless of what’s going on in the world or in your life, you can always be thankful. While you are being thankful, don’t forget to offer thanks to our Creator for all the beautiful things we have in the world and especially for our blessings. Everything comes from God and we should be in constant praise to Him. As the old hymn says, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow”.
What is it that you find you are thankful for each day? Family, friends, a job, possessions? If more of us could just be content with what we already have instead of thinking we have to have more and more, our lives would be less hectic.
American novelist Alice Walker, wrote that “‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” Be thankful on Thanksgiving, but don’t let it stop there. Always be thankful in everything. Happy Thanksgiving. ©2015
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org