As a society and a community, we have much for which we should be thankful. Given the nature of these turbulent times, some may find it difficult to give thanks in the wake of our national tragedies. But these events should give us additional opportunities to give thanks.
As a nation, we could have given in to evil forces. We could have made a token response that would have told the rest of the world we were "soft." We could easily have said the task was too great, the obstacle too large. But we didn't.
How can we be thankful when so many are without resources this year? When homelessness is reportedly at an all-time high, how can we genuinely give thanks? Here's how. We can be thankful that there are those among us who provide for the needs of others. We can be thankful that those in need can ask for help and have a reasonable assurance their need will be met. Though our personal circumstances may prohibit such acts of kindness, we can most certainly be thankful that some among us will take up that challenge. And perhaps someday your personal circumstances may change and you may be the one providing the assistance.
In overwhelming numbers, most of us can be thankful for food, shelter and clothing - items we mention in passing but most often items taken for granted.
We can feel a sense of resurgence in patriotism and a return of God in our daily lives. Regardless of the circumstances that prompted this renewal of God and country, we can be thankful that these are our reactions. I view these as signs of strength and comfort. And it goes without saying, they are long-overdue in our national dialogue.
We can be thankful we live in a community willing to explore changes necessary to bring prosperity and hope to all citizens. Though you may sometimes disagree with that assessment, sit back and look at the signs of change. Or better yet, get off your fanny and be a part of that change. You'll actually be thankful you did.
Our community is blessed - and I do not use that word lightly - with a strong foundation of churches. Active congregations combine to literally form the foundation on which so much of our lives are built. We can only hope and pray these pillars of the community continue their mission of strength and outreach. And indeed they will.
Just look around. There are so may things for which we should be thankful. As my parents always say - you can see that glass half-full or half-empty. In this special season of Thanksgiving, let us collectively look for the half-full glasses around us and in our daily lives. They're there - all we have to do is look.