Giving Thanks In 2015
It’s now been almost 400 years since a group of weary Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower in Plymouth, Massachusetts seeking the opportunity to worship God as they saw fit. The first year almost killed them, but by hard work and the grace of God, they managed to not only survive, but to actually prosper. To them it seemed fitting and proper that they would set aside a special day at the end of their harvest season to give thanks to God for their survival and their bounty. In 1863 during the midst of a terrible civil war, President Abraham Lincoln decreed that the nation should pause in an official day of Thanksgiving.
Although we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S. on the third Thursday of November, a national day of thanks is common around the world. Civilized people all over the globe stop and take the time to thank their God for the bounty they have received. Thanksgiving traditions vary from nation to nation but the basic concept remains constant. We are grateful for the rain that falls that might begin to end our terrible drought. We are grateful for the harvest of domestic crops and the bounty of wild foods that we can harvest from nature. We are grateful for the freedoms we enjoy to be able to worship God as we see fit.
This year many of us will gather together with family and friends and eat too much and watch football on TV. We will cook and eat and laugh together and perhaps even take a walk afterwards to settle the feast we have enjoyed. Perhaps our dinners will consist of the traditional roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables and pumpkin pie. Perhaps we might sit down to a dinner of pheasant, or venison we have harvested afield. Our feast might consist of baked ham, or salmon or leg of lamb, but the underlying principle will be the same. We take time from our busy lives to thank our God for our blessings.
I too, will probably eat too much, and watch football and take a food induced nap. I suspect that many of you will do the same. I’ll probably take a walk in the woods along the river near my home and enjoy the fall colors and hopefully, the sting of rain on my cheek. Wherever you are and whatever your meal consists of, I hope you too will take the time to thank our Creator for the rains that fall, the crops that grow, the natural bounty that flourishes in our woods and streams, and his other blessings upon us. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Until next time, Tight Lines.
Don Moyer is a longtime Central Valley resident and avid outdoorsman. He contributes occasional columns.