Give Thanks Religiously

November 22, 2012 by  

My wife, Joyce prepared this Zendo turkey. Vegetarianism is not a requirement in this American community.

As I write this, we Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving Day. As in the case of many holidays, a period has been set aside for us to show our gratefulness, if not for our lives, for all the stuff we have managed to acquire in our lives. If the business minds of our country have done their homework well, millions of Americans will spend this evening and part of tomorrow acquiring more stuff. They will be thankful if they manage to beat out the competition to get the product they want to the cashier. They will be happy if they suffer no permanent injury caused by all the serious shoving and jockeying for position amid hundreds of shoppers. That is one way of looking at the annual event we call Thanksgiving.

When we get past the packaged idea of Thanksgiving there are many wonderful moments to share with family and friends. Enjoying a meal together, being engaged in pleasant conversation, or in many cases, playing or watching a game together cements the family bond. Still, if we have no stuff, no family present and things look bleak, there are still reasons to give thanks. The whole of the earth is a gift to us, every tree, every flower, every body of water and bird in the sky is there for you and me to enjoy, despite what might be lacking in our lives. We can be thankful for our senses, our intelligence, for possibilities and even for challenges. With help, we can overcome anything.

If we are giving thanks, we thank a person for their contribution to us. However, there is a higher person we should thank, the Cosmic-Giver, God, who gave us ourselves and who remains at the epicenter of all giving. If you can believe that when you offer thanks, your appreciation will be heard. The energy of it will put things in motion. Help will be on the way. When Jesus Christ needed a miracle he gave thanks before the deed was accomplished. This act combines faith with gratefulness. It is like giving thanks for a bridge you can not see, then driving on anyway. This is not so easy. It is hard to be thankful when you are broken in various ways but it is the superior form of thanks. It is combined with faith. Such an attitude raises your spiritual status. That spirit changes you. Whether you are eating turkey with all the dressing or having a burger at the local fast foods place, be thankful. Be thankful for the people you come in contact with, for the strangers who acknowledge you. Thank the Cosmic-Giver for giving you you. Seek the hidden gift He has placed in you. Be excited. You are a gift to someone. Be that.

The other day I was in line to purchase a turkey for a member of my community who had no money for a proper Thanksgiving meal. The store advertised a decent price. However, when I got to the cashier she told me that I had to spend $35 more to get the turkey at a special price. I declined and was ready to pay the full price. The woman standing near me said, "Put his turkey on my bill. I am spending enough." She then told me to take the turkey and leave. I realized she was planning to pay for the whole thing. Then we discovered she was a little short of the proper expenditure. The next woman in line said, "Put it on my bill, I have it." This was amazing and beautiful. I told the ladies I was buying the turkey for someone who needed it. "Now we are buying it for you. That is paying it forward, paying it forward." The incident made me very thankful. I could afford the purchase but I was thankful for the kindness of those women. It was a wonderful display of love and compassion. You may think that nothing good has happened for you to be thankful about. You can be a blessing to someone else. I give thanks for you. GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS. PEACE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD


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