The tradition of Thanksgiving started in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and was attended by 52 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. The purpose of the celebration was to give thanks to God for His provision and protection for the newcomers to the New World. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation making Thanksgiving an official national holiday, to be held the fourth Thursday of every November.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s the simplest of all holidays with the greatest emphasis on family and relationships. And it’s the holiday that keeps on giving… turkey sandwiches and meals of leftovers can last for days! All in all, it’s a good time for relating and relaxing. But what about the thankfulness part?
I would encourage you this holiday season to realize three things and suggest that you commit to do one thing that will make this time more meaningful. The three things to realize are that first, we have needs. In a country like the United States, we sometimes fail to differentiate between needs and wants. But health, vital relationships, and spiritual growth all fall under the category of needs. Assess your needs this season and then go to the second realization: humility. Having humility is simply knowing that you are not able to meet your needs alone. In fact, to meet some of these needs you might have no ability at all to affect a change. Which leads to the third realization: ultimately only God can meet our needs.
So as you enter this season, I would suggest that you make a list of what you are thankful for and pray that list back to God with a spirit of thankfulness. Speaking your thanks will go a long way to internalizing that thankfulness so it will be part of your character. Since we are all so blessed, it would be a good gift to give back to the Giver of all good things!