We are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, a wonderful time of sharing with family and friends. Hopefully you will have that opportunity to spend time with some of your favorite people, share good food, laugh and enjoy the day. But I also hope that you will take time to count your blessings also.
Most of us are aware of some of the reasoning for the holiday, the celebration of the Pilgrims who traveled from another land far away who had survived. They didn’t have it easy as you know, sickness, starvation, death were a very real part of their existence. It was recorded that they averaged three deaths per day and less than 50 percent of their original group lasted through the winter. At one point they were near starvation and each person had to exist on only seven kernels of corn a day.
I have trouble imagining living that kind of existence, though I have seen some of it personally in other countries. Even there I never had to endure what the people around me had to endure. It was at times overwhelming to say the least. Perhaps you have experienced those conditions, perhaps you have seen it up close and personal. If so, then you have some idea of how those first colonist suffered, yet they stopped to count their blessings.
I have been told that some families make a real effort to remember their blessings as they celebrate Thanksgiving by using Seven Kernels of Corn. They place seven kernels of corn beside each plate and ask each person to tell seven things they are thankful for. Not a bad idea is it?
I’m sure that each of us will have far more than seven kernels of corn to eat this Thanksgiving holiday. But because of that many will not really stop and think about how blessed we are. For many, the day has become about food, football and parades, not about counting your blessings. If that’s true in your family, maybe it’s time you help them refocus of what the day is supposed to be about, “Giving Thanks.” We sing a short hymn that has these words, perhaps we need to sing them more often. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heavenly host: Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” (Doxology, Thomas Ken).
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.