Be mindful of the meaning of Thanksgiving

BY JOE B. COATES – [email protected]

Thanksgiving 2008 is a week away. Many of us will be able to have a couple of days off from work. Most of us will be visiting and celebrating with family and friends. Football games will surely be watched in a large number of Copiah County households on Thursday and Friday. And, turkey dinners, ham dinners, fried chicken dinners and probably a few seafood-type dinners will be enjoyed off and on throughout the days.

What’s most noticeable about this year’s Thanksgiving is that we Americans seem to be reading about, watching and hearing more bad news about our country than ever before. Thanks to the larger media’s belief that bad news sells advertising more than good news, our senses are bombarded by such items day after day. Good news is rarely reported, and, even less, makes the headlines.

One need only look at their own situation–the only one that a person can control–and be thankful. Many times we as individuals think our situation could be better–a better job, a better income, more stuff, better friends, a bigger church, a larger house, a newer car, etc–and we lose sight of just how good we really do have it. It’s only human nature, and it’s a shame that we get that way sometimes.

We fail to be thankful for what we have and who we have in our lives. If we all take a minute to remember all the good things, good people and good times in our lives, then we realize what good news we are truly receiving everyday. Blessings don’t always come in large packages; the best ones tend to come in the littlest of moments–a child’s sweet laughter, a nurturing touch from a loving spouse, a trip down memory lane with an old friend, kneeling in prayer with players from the opposing team after a ballgame and so much more. Only a few moments like these that occur everyday make everyday count. They are gifts from our Heavenly Father.

So, everyday strive to be thankful for the blessings in your life. And, on Thanksgiving Day we can collectively celebrate as a nation the blessings that our truly unique country has received over the centuries.

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