The first Thanksgiving. I wonder what it was like. Was it similar to ours with the hustle and bustle of last minute preparations? Food. Family. Games. Traveling plans.
Perhaps it was. Only now much of the monumental significance of that special day so long ago is being reduced to metaphors. Black Friday. Deals. Savings. Dare I say greed?
This year newspapers titled their pages, black and white with store savings. Shortages. Very little being said about Thanksgiving except for the occasional parade commemorating such a day that long ago brought nations together to celebrate freedom and peace.
Perhaps the Pilgrims brought the fixings with skill and refinement while the Indians brought the hunted meat with arrow and bow. Such skill and dexterity required for both.
Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like. Perhaps it would be appropriate for me to remember. To recall more than the simplicity depicted in the pictures of History. What if this season I pause to remember that this season is one of thankfulness and peace? One of freedom?
My son has a picture in his history text book of the very first Thanksgiving. A replica of course. It portrays the Pilgrims with their hats. Smiles on their faces and children playing behind the women as they hustle about to spread their tables with deliciousness. Dishes cooked with love, prepared with the first fruits of their harvest. A harvest brought in by the sweat of their brow as they exercised their freedom from England.
This same picture showed the Indians with their bows and arrows. Their women with beautifully ornate jewelry and robes, made by their own hands. Somber faces due largely to the harsh realities daily survival brings. A picture of tradition that is passed from generation to generation. Skill. Accuracy. Athleticism. Both people groups bringing an offering of peace. Harmony. Harvest.
It’s interesting as I’ve looked at this picture so often this week. I notice less the hustle and the bustle, but the ever present bow and arrows slung over the strong shoulder of a brave young man. The determination in the eyes of the weary travelers. Both steadfast. Both strong.
The Bible likens arrows in a quiver to the blessing and heritage of a man having sons in his youth. A metaphor of sorts explaining the blessing of children. However, today we find these “sons” are often fulfilled by significant people filling the rolls of sons for some, daughters, friends, mothers, and fathers for others. What a beautiful picture as we compare the parallel. These people fill our lives or our “quiver” and out of it flows a people who get together to celebrate freedom, peace, and the harvest of good relationships. These things take hard work. Sustaining energy. But above all, require Thankfulness to remember. Thankful hearts to recall the determination it takes to “make it” in our day of survival.
What a beautiful time to pause and remember the various people that sit around your table. That have gone on before. These people that shoot straight and true as an arrow through your life. Friendships that have been refined by the skillful hands of time and yes, determination.
This Thanksgiving Day, make time for those in your life that matter. Thanking them and your Creator for the joy that giving brings. For the hope that being thankful gives. For these gifts that we are forever changed by.
Think about it…we are continually carving history. Every day matters. Every person matters.
In a thousand years, what would your Thanksgiving Day picture portray?
Yes, as the day draws near, I find myself thankful…
A Komen spokeswoman said in an email that participation in the three-day walks declined by 37 percent in the past four years, without specifying whether that was the number of participants or dollars raised. The group decided to remove the cities from next year’s schedule that have not been meeting fundraising goals, the spokeswoman said.
It was unclear what the group’s fundraising targets were for the walks. Each participant is required to raise a minimum of $2,300 and walks about 60 miles over the three days.
The charity sparked an outcry last year when it said it would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, a provider of birth control, abortion and other women’s health services.
Komen, which supports Planned Parenthood’s efforts to provide access to breast-cancer screening, reversed that decision within days and said it would restore the funding.
After the controversy, several of the group’s leaders stepped down, and the group’s founder, Nancy Brinker, stepped down as CEO, though she continued to hold a management role.
Brinker founded the organization in 1982, two years after her sister, Susan G. Komen, died of breast cancer.
Komen’s signature event is the Race for the Cure, which includes 5 kilometers and marathon races as well as the walks. The group says the events involve more than 1.7 million participants each year.
Komen will continue to hold walks in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul.