My post the day before Thanksgiving encouraged my readers to take time to think about things for which they are thankful. I took my advice and saw once again how blessed I am.
I’m thankful for being raised at the time I was raised. It was a time when a kid didn’t have to wear a helmet to ride a bicycle. It was a time when you could drink water out of a water hose instead of a bottle you bought at the store. It was a time when kids went outside to play rather than wearing out their thumbs playing video games and talking on their cell phones.
I was raised on a dairy farm which meant I had chores to do every day. By the time I was around 8-9 I was driving tractors and trucks through the fields, plowing and disking the fields and raking hay. I spent many hours each summer in the hay loft stacking bales of hay. Today, that would probably be considered child abuse and some nosy neighbor would call Child Protective Services. It wasn’t child abuse; it was how young people learned how to work for a living rather than think society owes you a living.
I was raised in a time when boys carried knives to school and everywhere they went. Every man and boy had a knife in their pocket, not for protection, but for work. In high school it wasn’t uncommon to see loaded guns in vehicles. Interestingly enough, there were never any mass shootings at schools or anywhere else. I wonder what’s changed.
I’m thankful to have been raised in a church where I was taught right and wrong. I admit I did not always do what was right, but at least I knew when I was doing wrong. We were taught morals and respect for one another. Like many in my generation, when I reached my later teens I veered away from those teachings, but there came a time when I returned to them. Many young people today have no religious training to come back to when life gets difficult, and, believe me, life will get difficult for everyone at some point. I worry about those who have no moral compass and no religious instruction to return to.
Fifty-two years ago I married my wife. I had just turned 18; she was a year older. Everyone told us we were too young, and it would never last. I think we proved them wrong. I’m thankful to have married a woman who wouldn’t run off the first time we had a bump in our relationship, and there have been bumps. There always are, but we’ve worked through every one of them.
We had two children who have given us seven grandchildren. I’m so thankful for every one of them. What a blessing! I could write a multi-volume book on all the ways they have enriched my life.
I’m thankful that we’ve had no major health issues and are able to do much of what we want. I’m thankful we have a comfortable home in which to live, food to eat, and a reason to get up every morning.
Most of all, I’m thankful for my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I invited Him into my life at a very low point in my life. I’ve received His forgiveness of my sins and I’m confident of my future because of Him. I’m thankful that He called me into the ministry which has allowed me to touch the lives of many people through my pastoral ministry, my work as a judicatory minister and my books and seminars. Today, my ministry includes my work as an auctioneer which gives me the opportunity to help people in difficult times in their lives.
No blog post could include everything for which I’m thankful. I didn’t have time to mention my service in the Navy which taught me discipline, the various careers I’ve enjoyed, the education I received later in my life than most of my peers, and a host of other things.
I hope you found things for which you are thankful during this Thanksgiving season.