I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving. Unlike most other holidays, this is one that is really not about material things. It is about being with special people and taking time to count your blessings.
The past year has been a struggle for us financially. I have become increasingly frustrated with this lately. I find myself being caught up in jealous thoughts about what others have... or more importantly what we don't. Frankly, it's been a lot of feeling sorry for myself.
Last weekend every local news station as well as the local paper ran articles about the shortage of food donations at the local rescue mission. This organization feeds, shelters and clothes a majority of the Nashville homeless population (many of whom are mentally ill). I was saddened to hear that for the first time since they opened their doors, that they would not be able to feed everyone on Thanksgiving Day. They were several hundred turkeys short of what they needed and were desperate for donations of food and/or money.
My first thought was that I really wished there was something I could do to help. I mean we don't seem to have a surplus of money these days. I just couldn't get the food shortage off my mind. Sunday it came to me. I CAN do something. I may not personally have the ability to donate, but there is another way. I can use my influence at my full-time job to make a donation.
Monday morning I went to the grocery, purchased four cases of fresh turkeys and headed down to the mission. When I arrived, there was a line of vehicles on both sides of the street waiting to pull into the donation center. My heart was full, knowing that so many others were there to make sure that even if it was only for the hot meal, that everyone would have something to be thankful for.
When it was my turn to pull in, I got out and three homeless men greeted me with big smiles and a warm hello. I said "I've got some turkeys for you," and we walked to the back of my car and the look on their faces when they saw those cases of turkeys was the best thanks I could have ever received. As I walked back to get in the car one man thanked me again and said "have a blessed Thanksgiving." At that moment, I knew I would.
As I drove away it occurred to me that I need to be more thankful for the blessings in my life. I may not have all the treasures in the world, but I have clean clothes, a warm home to come to at the end of the day and I never have to worry about when I will get my next meal. I am so blessed and as pitiful as I think my life may be sometimes, so many have it much worse. I hope that I never forget that or the joy I felt on Monday doing something as simple as delivering turkeys.
More Than A Day
As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.
We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.
So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.
By Karl Fuchs
A Blessed Thanksgiving to All!