Be grateful this Thanksgiving

Schoolchildren all over the United States know the story: the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and shared in the bountiful harvest of the Wompanoag Native Americans back in 1621.

Since then, Americans have been giving thanks at this time of year. And since President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the fourth Thursday in November in 1941 (the holiday itself being proclaimed by President Lincoln nearly 80 years prior), we have celebrated Thanksgiving on this day.

We are living in challenging economic times, certainly, and our country is involved in conflicts across the globe. We could fault China or Congress, but blaming others will not make our situation any better. Americans have always improved themselves through hard work and determination. Tough times demand these traits.

God made these golden autumn days so glorious, so beautiful, so that our eyes can see the changing colors of the leaves against a deep blue sky. And He did it just for us. We experience the highs and lows of a football season that coincides with these special days and nights, taking on importance and meaning that only Southerners understand.

Everyone reading this newspaper has a family to be thankful for, as well. Every single one of us is the best part of our collective raising – our parents, siblings, teachers, co-workers and other influences. And it all happens, every day, in the greatest nation on Earth.

And so, let us pause before dining on turkey and dressing to be grateful to an all-powerful and ever-living God who has allowed us to live in such a beautiful place; who has granted us the grace to get by under sometimes difficult circumstances; and of whose Master Plan our lives are but a part.