During my Sunday school class last week, I asked the kids what they would give thanks for this year. All of them, with very little prompting, said that they would have to be thankful for everything in their lives.
I was pleasantly surprised that the kids with younger siblings even admitted that they were thankful for their little brothers and sisters. As the youngest child in a family of three, it's always good to know that the older kids recognize the good things their younger siblings bring to the table.
The point of my lesson, which Pastor Colleen had also stressed during her sermon at the early service, was that everything in life is a gift from God, whether we recognize it at the time or not. And, just as importantly, we all have to remember to thank God for his greatest gift, his son, Jesus Christ. I was pleased that my young Sunday school charges not only were agreeable to this conclusion, they were also willing and eager to share that thought with their friends and family.
As I begin to prepare myself for the upcoming days of heavy eating, heavier sleeping and obsessive television watching that has become the norm for Thanksgiving, I would put my Sunday school kids at the top of my list of things for which to be thankful. Being the high school/junior high school teacher at First United Methodist is one of the tasks in my life that I have continued to accept with gratitude and pleasure.
Also on my "thanks" list would be the friends who populate my life. Some of them are not in my life as often as I might like; but, that doesn't lessen their importance in my life. Others have become an even more constant presence in my life, giving me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with they and their lives. And then, of course, there are the friends that have been, and continue to be, a constant presence in my life on a daily basis. My friends are a vital part of my life, and their participation in my work, my leisure and all areas in between make me the person I am.
I give thanks for my family and the impact they have had on making me the person that I am. My parents, my siblings, my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have been a constant part of my life. The nieces and nephew, and their spouses, are the family that I am now a contributor to, by example and guidance. And the great niece,,, well, she just wraps me around her little finger and keeps going!
I give thanks that I have a job that I actually enjoy, and that I find satisfying. In our little community, the weekly paper is a vital part of how we find out about what's going to be happening. It's the way we celebrate our births, our marriages and our accomplishments. It is how we honor and recognize our dead, insuring that their memories will continue on long after we are gone ourselves. As editor for 13 years, I join a long line of men and women who have served the community over the years in this same role. All of us know how important the newspaper is to our readers, and we strive to insure that you get the newspaper you deserve.
Like the kids in my Sunday school class, I find myself so overwhelmed with things for which I am thankful that I can no longer list them all. I have been so blessed, with good and bad, in my life, and for all of it, I am truly thankful.
On Thursday, when you prepare to enjoy your feast of plenty, take time to give thanks, really give thanks, for all your blessings. And, don't fail to remember that God has made all those many blessings possible, and give thanks for Him, and for His Son.
Happy Thanksgiving, Mason.
It’s all just my opinion.