I remember as a younger man going through all kinds of crazy iterations to make it home for Thanksgiving. Once I was stuck in Chicago for nearly eighteen hours due to snow, but I still made it home in time for turkey dinner. There was something special about walking into the older home I grew up in with all of the wonderful aromas drifting out of the kitchen and seeing family members that I hadn't seen in many months. And even though the weekend flew by, it left great memories that stick with me today.
But with all the fun, food, family and friends, I hope everyone will take time to remember the meaning for the day and the difficult struggle that earlier generations went through so that we could be warm and well fed on this Thanksgiving Day. It wasn't always that way. Many of the early colonists, both at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, faced starvation and ravaging diseases as they labored on to found the land that came to be known as America. And the Continental Army under George Washington faced monumental odds with short supplies and a hostile environment, yet they overcame it to win a decisive victory against their British masters and set us free. Later, brothers fought brothers through three Thanksgiving periods as the Blue and the Gray fought over the future of this great land.
Through it all, the grace and goodness of an all-loving Father led the people of America to overcome monumental challenges and attain fantastic successes, yet many of us today forget about our humble beginnings and just think that all the things we have are just naturally here for us. We take so much for granted. And so I would ask that we all take some time this week to humble ourselves before Divine Providence and thank Him for his guiding light of inspiration that has allowed us to prosper. Without Him, none of it would be possible.
Dear Lord: Thank you for Thy love and grace and for giving us the opportunity to say thanks to you on one of the most American of holidays. Help us to remember the sacrifice and courage of those who came before us and sewed the seeds of freedom. Help us to honor them by standing for the cause that they represented, always devoting ourselves to doing what is necessary to maintain that and further that freedom. With devotion to you and following your guidance, we know that we might successfully do so. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.
Have a great trip, enjoy the Holiday, thank the Lord for allowing us the privilege of this great event, and return safely home when the weekend is done. And next week, when you are recovering from too much turkey and all the trimmings, call your "Turkey" in Washington and tell him or her to get up, speak up and stand for the America we love and honor. The time for excuses is over and silence which is nothing more than complicity will not be accepted.