Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving can be any day

By Gelene Simpson
Corsicana Daily Sun

— Some people may be saying that Thanksgiving Day is over. Now we will just get ready for Christmas. I think this is a mistake. I like the way that the English people declared a day of Thanksgiving any time something important happened. It didn’t just happen one day in the year.

And another thing — the pilgrims didn’t celebrate with caviar at the Ritz either. No, they were very thankful for food like pumpkins and wild turkeys. They were not strangers to disease and death, and our imaginations can hardly conceive of the hardships they experienced during the trip over here on a small cramped sailing ship. They probably had creepy crawlers in the flour bin, if they even had any flour left. Just think how easily we can pick up the phone and order a bucket of crispy crunchy finger-lickin’ good fried chicken, and the kids can have a pizza of their choice. And this is without even having to leave the house. We can even make the call during the commercial so as not to miss any of our favorite television shows.

We have no business getting upset because things aren’t going our way. Maybe we should think about the dangers that many of us can remember from when we were children ourselves. We had our small pox vaccinations, diphtheria shots and were glad to make it through another day without coming down with polio, since no one knows what caused that crippling disease back then.

Many families had a member who fell victim to tuberculosis, and the family had to move to a drier climate or the patient had to spend many months in a special sanitorium in order to prevent the spread of this killer.

My own mother often recalled having had typhoid fever, and many people had pneumonia and even double pneumonia. Bad flu epidemics were always getting loose and causing doctors, nurses and members of health departments to stay on their feet many long hours to get these death dealers under control.

Our country is a great deal better off today than it was during the years of the World Wars I and II and the Great Depression. There were times in our history when many U.S. citizens would have been glad to receive a good package dropped from the sky. It seems to me that we are most depressed by the idea that there are people who hate us enough to kill us by the thousands with explosives or scare us to death with their terroristic threats. Our minds are full of questions, mostly “Why?”

The answer can be found in the Bible. We are not in a battle with flesh and blood. We are in a desperate conflict with “powers and principalities.” What we can be thankful for is that the creator of this world and the people in it tells us not to be afraid because good will triumph over evil in the end. We are to strengthen our faith by remembering how God has blessed our nation in times past. We cannot take confidence so much in our own physical strength or even in the weapons we have in our stockpile as in the fact that the power of God shows up best when we are weak and in need of God’s help.

We must beware of trusting so much in our weapons. We cannot really be thankful unless we are humble. It is true that the best way to be grateful is upon our knees. It is sad to see that with all the huge crowds gathered at sporting events, many churches are suffering from a lack of participation.

And let us recall with respect and sympathy those we have lost through the inhuman acts of terrorism throughout the world and be grateful that we have an opportunity to right the wrongs done by refusing to let their memories perish from our hearts.

But, above all, let us earnestly pray that whatever we do at home or abroad, it will be pleasing in the sight of God and not bring shame upon His Holy Name.

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Gelene Simpson is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com