Thanksgiving Reflections Grit and God

ThanksgivingWith one great sweep of the mind we can easily imagine that every color and creed of mankind inhabiting this earth has had occasions to expressed gratitude for good fortune and concern for misfortune. Life is a steady repetition of both and plays no favorites. As Job recounted, “man is born into trouble as sparks fly upward” He knew both sides of that equation as no other on earth but he reasoned that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
One does not sail across the stormy Atlantic confined below decks for three months without being very grateful when you feet touch dry land nor would you not be exceedingly thankful for surviving a terribly cold miserable winter that took the lives of half the Mayflower’s immigrants, knowing
you would not be alive either except for the kind assistance of a native American, Masssasoit as true a Pagan as Pilgrims were Puritan.
Now it just so happened (read: providential intervention) that Plymouth Harbor became filled with migrating ducks and geese while stripped bass, bluefish and cod were plentiful below the surface. The woods yielded deer and turkey while the first crop was harvested in early fall (before November) and best of all- barley could be turned into beer. The stage is set for a great Thanksgiving celebration even without the pumpkin pie or cranberries. The exact date of this serendipity celebration in early fall of 1621 escapes us but it all began when 100 uninvited guests walked into the settlement bringing food and gifts instead of hatchets and scalps.
Maybe it is easier to be grateful when things go well, but remember, half the settlement died from the hardship and the prayed for peace with the natives that did not last. Counter intuitive as it is, adversity and hardship of the harshest kinds never dimmed the celebrations of Thanksgiving that have continued throughout fortune and misfortune. True grit and God were the unassailable bonds that welded a westward expansion into a unique model of civilization that faced many a struggle and formidable enemies as surely as sparks fly upwards. We are still a work in progress, but if we ever forget our true grit and God then we will be vanquished from our appointed destiny to be the Giving people others Thank.
Be someone’s Thanksgiving.
John B. Harrison DDS, MSc

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