By Drew Brassfield
Ingrate. Selfish. Unappreciative. All words to describe me 51 weeks of any given year. Perhaps you can relate? But, then comes the week of Thanksgiving. The one week of the year where, for a brief moment, we stop and reflect on all that we have for which we should be thankful. Family. Friends. Good health.
Yet, this Thanksgiving seems to mean more to me. Maybe it’s the wisdom that increases with age? Maybe I’m just giving it more thought, for a change? Or, possibly, there’s a deeper, more Divine stirring going on inside me?
I see the same happenings as most anybody: wildfires, political division, immigration arguments. And it raises one question, for me: “Why is it so easy for us to hone-in on the negativity going on all around us?” We complain about road construction, the price of gas, how long we have to wait for…well, anything! And with the advent of social media, us keyboard warriors have no compunction about taking to the comments section to voice our criticism over the latest decision, trend, or opinion presented. The only thing new, as far as I can tell, to this practice is the technology used to voice our gripes.
All of this reminds me of a Bible story from the Old Testament. You know the one I’m talking about: Charlton Heston (I mean, Moses), Egypt, plagues, the parting of the Red Sea. But a less-celebrated aspect to this story is the amount of belly-aching the Israelites did. God provided everything they needed. Everything. Yet, the Israelites complained that the menu seldom changed. Many were convinced Moses’ GPS was on the fritz. And the Promised Land’s baseball team didn’t have a cool name. But, here’s where the story gets interesting: the Lord sent venomous snakes into their camps to kill many of them. I imagine it didn’t take long for them to realize this was the consequence to their grumbling. For me, the best part of this story is in the solution God gave to Moses: make a snake and put it on a pole. God promised that anyone who looked at it would live. (see Numbers 21: 4-9, except for that baseball team part)
The moral of the story: when you’re feeling/being ungrateful, look up! Lift your eyes and count your blessings! Thank God we live in a free country where we can have open discussions about decisions our political leaders make. Be thankful to live in a State with enough money to fix our roads. Be thankful for socks. For technology. For the air we breathe. And, yes, even for the snakebites. For in those snakebites, we are reminded that we have so much more for which we ought to be thankful!