Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States commemorating the harvest of the Plymouth Colony in 1621. The event followed a winter of great hardship
When it was first inaugurated, only a few eastern states participated. However, Sarah Hale decided to affect a change. She felt that the whole nation should join together in setting apart a national day for giving thanks “unto Him from whom all blessings flow.” Therefore, with a barrage of letters and articles to various newspapers and journals of her time, she began to plead long and earnestly with three Presidents: Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan. Her campaign succeeded in uniting 29 states in marking the last Thursday of November as “Thanksgiving Day.”
Then came the dark days of the War Between the States. Who would listen to the persistent pleas of a lone woman for “just one day of peace amidst the blood and the strife?” One man did; her entreaty won the ear of a great American and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a day set apart for the national giving of thanks unto Almighty God.
Thankfulness seems to be a forgotten art. Too many are more concerned these days with “mine” and “my rights,” giving little consideration to others. We are entering a season of holidays that characteristically dwell more on “what we are getting” than on what we give.
The Bible identifies thanklessness with some of the most hardened sins. “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:2-5a).
Rudyard Kipling at one time was so popular that his writings were getting ten shillings per word. A few college students however didn’t appreciate Kipling’s writings; they facetiously sent him a letter enclosing ten shillings. It read:
“Please, send us your best word.”
They got a letter back from Kipling stating:
It costs so little, it lasts so long, and it means so much. Say “Thank You” to someone today! Say “Thank You” to God right now!