God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God
20 November 2012Posted by on
I dreamt that I came to the ATM machine in the hopes of depositing a check, but the only languages that were available to me on the menu were Nanticoke, Shawnee, Iroquois, Lenape, Powhatan and Susquehannok. I went into the branch to talk to a teller but I could not understand a word that she was saying because the only language the she could speak were Nanticoke, Shawnee, Iroquois, Lenape, Powhatan and Susquehannok; I could not get any service nor could I function in the society.
It was frustrating because there was nobody who understood me or seemingly even cared to understand me: I did not know their language, I did not know the local customs. I was labeled a savage…
That is when I woke up. It took me a minute to realize that it was only a dream and I felt relieved because when Nanticoke, Shawnee, Iroquois, Lenape, Powhatan and Susquehannok tribes lived on this land, ATM machines were not invented yet. What a relief… It was just a bad dream…
In two days, on Thursday, November 22, 2012, the people living in the USAmerica will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For many of us the actual holiday is so full of activity and busyness that we have little time for intentional, focused and meaningful time of giving of thanks to God. There are turkeys to stuff and pies to bake, there are travel plans, there are games in the afternoon, “BLACK” Friday is looming on the horizon – a harbinger of a hectic holiday season; all these compete for our attention and demand our participation. It is easy to leave very little time to reflect on our lives, what is happened in the past and what is happening around us and what we are hoping to happen in the future.
Reality is that it is neither the grandeur of the Thanksgiving dinner, nor who wins the afternoon game or what’s on sale in Wal Mart, Best Buy or Kohls that makes Thanksgiving special. Most of us will agree with that statement verbally but our lives do not reflect that.
What I am asking is that we take the time and think what Thanksgiving is really about. I want to encourage everyone to make Thanksgiving to be more than just a day. Remember the stories: stories that we are used to hearing and stories that we learned to ignore or to turn a deaf ear to. Remember the sacrifices of those who came before us, remember the triumphs and mistakes that were made along the way, remember that through it all, God’s Grace been with all in the past as it is in the present. Say “thank you” for that. Remember your personal blessings, remember God’s presence in your life and say “thank you.” Do this several times on Thanksgiving Day and continue doing that every day for the rest of your life.
On Thanksgiving Day our whole nation comes to the table. At that table we share a meal and we reflect on what it means to be an American and what it means to be free. And the way I understand Thanksgiving, there is ONE gigantic table, with countless people sitting at it and sharing a meal together: men and women, children and adults, healthy and frail, poor and rich, black and white, yellow and red. An investment banker from New York is seated next to a truck stop waitress from Montana. An Iowa farmer exchanges stories with a New England fisherman. A bearded professor from Harvard passes the gravy to a bearded auto mechanic from the sticks of Arkansas. A young soldier laughs at a joke an old lady tells him. And this gigantic table stretches far into the distance, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, from the Canadian border to the southern border with Mexico. People from all states and all regions of our great country have found their seats and enjoy their meal at the same time. At this table, the barriers that we built to separate us are removed. OUR WHOLE NATION SITS DOWN TO A SINGLE MEAL. This dinner is shared in the homes of the wealthy, middle class and the poor. It takes place in soup kitchens and in suburban restaurants and diners; it happens with stuffy formality and with casual folksiness.
On this one Thursday afternoon each year, we all put our differences aside and we come together to celebrate God’s blessings in our lives. On this one Thursday afternoon each year , there are no “red” people and there are no “blue” people; there no liberals or conservatives; at that moment we are simply Americans.
On this one Thursday afternoon we all share in conversation with each other, and on this one Thursday afternoon we are truly what our founding fathers envisioned – One Nation Under GOD, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All.
Happy Thanksgiving and may your attitude of thanksgiving transform your lives into the lives of thanks-living.