Why we need a ‘Thanks-giving’

Published 6:10 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

By Myrtle Virginia Thompson

As long as we have everything we want and need, we see little or no reason for remembering to be thankful to God. His gracious blessings and gifts are assumed to be something we deserve. We do not recognize His love in providing us with health and strength and opportunity to work for what we want. We can quickly become ego-centric, thinking only of ourselves. When the shelves begin to empty out, we are quick to find and fill our own with whatever we think we will need “up ahead.” How do we get away from this kind of thinking? Thanks-giving will help us solve the problem.

The Bible continually reminds us to give thanks to God. In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians in Greece he wrote, “in everything give thanks.”

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“In everything”?

We have all heard about the “good” and the “bad” about the pandemic, especially about the shots. I submit it is time to move on. Let the two sides agree or disagree and let’s find a new topic — thankfulness.

Right now, let it be about the giving of thanks at this special season of the year, designated for that purpose when the first settlers came into our country.

So for what can we be thankful? My life took on new meaning when I began to serve as a missionary in three different foreign countries.

I am told cows in the fields chewing their food are “ruminating.” I think that is a good word for what I have been doing. I have been “ruminating,” thinking back on experiences in my past. Maybe it is something consigned to the elderly; the young have not yet had enough experiences for “ruminating.” I finally got the message into a book I have just had published.

I am remembering the villages where water was brought in a goatskin from a nearby spring, not something to be wasted. I have learned to appreciate and thank God for a shower. Being invited to a village home where I was being honored and given something like a dry rusk to eat with a cup of tea makes me thankful for the variety of foods we can order here and also for the people who prepare and serve them.

I sometimes hear complaints about what we do not have, and I feel sad. I wish for an attitude of gratitude. I hope we have not become spoiled children expecting to be taken care of instead of taking care of ourselves and each other. The Scripture teaches us both those lessons.

I have had the privilege of living in villages and visiting in palaces. My book about this lifestyle is now for sale on Amazon, a reminder of how blessed we are in this country.

Let’s spend the time every day to thank God before the commercialism of Christmas overtakes us and we forget to be thankful for that other special holiday reason when we remember Jesus, the Giver of life eternal.

Myrtle V. Thompson, 93, is a retired missionary, educator, Bible teacher and writer. Contact her at mvtgrt@gmail.com.