Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. It’s probably my favorite holiday. It’s certainly the least commercialized holiday. You don’t have to buy presents for somebody, chocolates, cards, or just about anything else. It’s just a great day to hang out with your family and friends, maybe watch a little football, and enjoy each other’s company. I suppose that it may be a great day for turkey farmers and retailers, but overall it’s really not a very commercialized holiday. I like that about Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time for us to do nothing other than be thankful. But on holidays like this, I always wonder what might my atheists and agnostic friends are thankful for. Or more correctly, who they are thankful to? It seems like in the never ending battle to move God out of the public’s view, that nothing is sacred; we will remove God from everything. We even are trying to remove God from Christmas! And if we’re gonna remove God from everything, then we have to remove Him from thanksgiving to. And if we do that, then who are we thankful to? Are we just thankful to fate, the odds, or some other nebulous entity?

In all fairness, my atheist and agnostic friends have no problem with this. They believe they feel perfectly thankful and they are grateful for the things they have. They have no issue with today. But for me, it just seems odd. How can you be thankful to no one? I know that I am thankful to God for all blessings over the past year. I can’t begin to list them all.

I am also thankful that long ago, an Indian named Squanto chose to befriend some Europeans who weren’t going to make it through the winter. Squanto could help them, because previously he had been captured and had been a slave. He knew English and he knew how to help. And even though he had plenty of good reason not to help those Europeans, he did it anyway. That amazes me every time I think about it. I’m thankful he did it.

I wonder if I could do the same. Could I offer help to someone at great personal sacrifice to myself? Can I do the right thing, regardless of what has happened to me in my past?

That is worth pondering about…

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