Measuring My Days

November 2007
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         Very soon now, the woods hereabout will be leafless, silently awaiting the first snowfall as Thanksgiving day draws near.  From cyberspace, I have borrowed some insightful quotes to meditate on my Thanksgiving blessings.  Pondering the true meaning of our American Thanks-giving, a bulletin of the New Antioch Church of Christ in Hillsboro, Alabama published these insightful thoughts:

For pilgrims in a new world, thanksgiving was a time to celebrate one more year of harvest in the face of starvation.  For a new country it was the celebration of freedom from the "tyranny of over seas domination.   For a country in the midst of a civil war it was appreciation for those lives not lost and for a country that would eventually heal the wounds of regionalism.  But for the person truly centered on God and His Son -- it is gratitude for every good gift we have been given. It is gratitude for good gifts bestowed on us today and in the future world to come.  We do well to be reminded annually of its importance.  Here's why:  Thanksgiving is admission that though life is often hard and unfair there is occasion for genuine joy and happiness.  Thanksgiving is recognition that the gifts we hold in our hands and heart are not solely the results of our own efforts. We are indebted to others and ultimately to God for vast contributions to our well' being.  Thanksgiving is a reminder that no life is a solo flight.  We gather with and/or think of all those who have made our journey worthwhile.  Thanksgiving is confession of those times of ingratitude that have distanced us from the mighty God. It provides opportunity for worship and reconciliation."

No one has captured the spirit of the American Thanksgiving more poignantly than Irving Berlin in his opening lines to God Bless America.  America's unofficial national anthem was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for America when he was only five years old.  In the fall of 1938, as war was again threatening Europe, Berlin decided to write a "peace" song. He recalled his "God Bless America" from twenty years earlier and made some alterations to reflect the different state of the world. Singer Kate Smith introduced the revised "God Bless America" during her radio broadcast on Armistice Day, 1938.  Perhaps it is the memory of so many thousands who have given their lives for the cause of our freedom that makes these lines so meaningful:

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. 


Remember to give thanks for and pray for the safety of our armed forces men and women who are serving our nation.