Thanksgiving and the direction we’re going
This morning while reading through several posts and statements on thankfulness, I was struck by a few things.
The first being an article I noticed from USA Today about how many Americans don’t celebrate the ‘thankful’ part of Thanksgiving because they don’t believe in God, therefore they have no one to be thankful to. This struck me as very sad and as a terrible statement about the direction of our nation in its morality.
George Washington once said that ‘you can’t have national morality apart from religious principle’ therefore we can see with ease the correlation of our spiral down in our politics and business practices and in the way teenagers approach casual sex, drinking, and respect for authority. All of these things are tied back to morality. And morality for the most part is instilled in a culture and society through religion. Not just Christianity, to be sure, but certainly there. It creates a vicious cycle…as adults leave behind the values of their parents they teach their children to do the same. Think of an apple on a tree branch that falls 8 feet from the tree. It grows into a tree which drops an apple 8 feet further, and so on. Within just a few generations you are quite some distance from the original ‘center’ where the first tree was.
We are literally seeing this effect in our country. The generation after me is more liberal (not politically) in the way they approach social issues and moral issues than may generation, and my generation was further away and more rebellious than that of my parents. This slow decay is happening all around us, and its our own fault.
But it can be stopped.
Today I also read an article that included an excerpt from a famous leader who spoke directly to this situation, and, I believe, offered hope and thought on how to change this. Let me share his words with you:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become to self- sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
With this attitude, may we plan something with those we love, to give bold repentance and thanksgiving to our God who has blessed our great nation and is the only one who can put it back on track!”
If you forgive the old ‘King James’ style of speech you get to the point:
- We are blessed
- We have forgotten God
- We have become selfish
- We should be thankful
- We should repent
These words, spoken by President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863, perfectly places our nation in our current day.
Let us take to heart the prophetic voice of President Lincoln and remember God, who is the giver of all good gifts. Let us be grateful for what we have and not focused on what we don’t. And let us turn back to God with hearts that are tender and willing to humble our hearts before God and ask for forgiveness for being selfish and hard-hearted.
I believe if we will, it will refocus our perspective and help us to remember how blessed we truly are…and will help us return to our moral center, while there is still time.
DK (and Eli and Titus, too!)