Trying times certainly make it more difficult to be thankful.
Our current concerns, sadness, and anger simmers when we see how our faith, values, vote, and country trampled. It is disheartening to witness our fellow countrymen seemingly buy into a foreign value system that disavows our nation’s founding, the liberties that give it life and the civic virtue that protects it.
Yet, by recalling our miraculous founding and growth as a nation, we cannot help but be thankful. These early American settlers knew that great sacrifice must be endured to build a life they desired. Today, in the face of daunting challenges, America must re-learn the pilgrims’ virtues that are required for keeping a nation strong.
The pandemic has been a trying time as well as a time to learn about ourselves.
After the initial confusion about the nature of the virus, many still would apply a blanket policy to prevent the spread of the virus without considering our God-given liberties and the personal responsibility required of a “healthy” nation. Pandemic restrictions have gone on for too long and are far too invasive and silly (while football is being played across the nation, California high schools can play football only without using an actual football).
Pilgrims put aside fear and risked everything by crossing the ocean with peril on all sides, just for a better life. Today, health restrictions leverage fear to take away our way of life.
After the virus and riots of 2020 and the unnerving alignment of print, online and TV to a single creepy viewpoint was followed by a national election that most believe was ‘stolen’, we are now in historic times. What a war could not do to the most powerful nation in the world, virus-plagued elections and voter fraud has potentially changed the course of our country.
Fortunately, we have American traditions that shine the light on great milestones of our nation. Thanksgiving is a time to recall that for the pilgrims, fear was real. Yet, it did not deter them. It was just another obstacle toward a better life. The pilgrims experienced death, pain, and heartbreak on a scale we could not fathom with our modern conveniences. Yet, they took time to thank God for their many received blessings.
This humility to give thanks while under great duress was not simply accepting the status quo. It was one of resilience, a resolve to remain faithful to their heritage, their Christian faith so they could build a better future for their children.
Certainly, many things in our nation have come to light that otherwise would not have without these trials of 2020. Now we see clearly the authoritarian impulses hiding behind big tech censorship, fear-based government directives and the corrupt nature of elections. This can cause us to feel pain, betrayal, and desperation in face of a shameless disregard for innocent life and partisan gamesmanship that both risk the well-being of our nation.
Nevertheless, under a different type of duress, we too must resolve to humbly bow our heads in Thanksgiving to God. In doing so, we acknowledge the foundations of our country built on faith, virtue, and action.
Thanksgiving 2020 is a new opportunity to humble ourselves and be thankful for all we received. It is only by returning to God and his Providence that we can take the actions needed to save our country.