Finding True Thanks – And Passing It On by Jerry Stewart
Hello, I’m Jerry Stewart. As we are taking time this special Thanksgiving Season to be thankful for friends, for family, and to Almighty God for his wonderful blessings, there is another very important someone to be thankful to – and one last Thanksgiving lesson to be learned.
Every time I find myself reading the true account of that first Thanksgiving celebration by the Pilgrims, I am taken aback by those simple people, and the not so simple obstacles that they had to overcome, to even survive. And today, amidst all our thankfulness, we need to be thankful to all of those Americans who have gone before us and have helped to give us our great Nation.
You see, most always good things don’t come by accident or luck. Most good things are made to happen. And they start with a quest, a vision, and it is truly those dreams and aspirations and desires for a better life that keep us going forward to strive to make it better.
Some today in America seem to have given up on that vision. But the best words we can hear today are the words of Pilgrim John Winthrop all that time ago. John Winthrop was the Governor of that small band of Pilgrim settlers. Now think about this. Winthrop, and the others there didn’t even know if they would survive. But John Winthrop did have a vision for America. He believed that it was up to them to help make it happen.
This is what John Winthrop said in his diary all those years ago:
“Now the only way to provide for our posterity is to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. We must delight in each other, make others conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes, our commission and community in the work as members of the same body. The Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as his own people. For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.”
Now, these are powerful words, and two of our US presidents Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan – they both saw Winthrop’s “vision”, and even more they saw our responsibility as Americans to conduct ourselves our Nation in such a way that we become a shining example to the world to be a City on a Hill, a shining beacon of light leading others in the way.
But how does it all happen? Can we do it by enacting more laws, collecting more taxes, and spending more money? Do we do it by more education and government programs? No! Bettering our America begins with you and me in our hearts, we must realize that we truly are all in this together, and that each of us must carry our own part of the load. How? By the way we conduct our own lives.
So this season, this Thanksgiving Season, let us not seek to have more to be thankful for, but instead, let us seek to be more thankful for what we have.