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John Grady: Thanksgiving or giving thanks

We have the choice to be thankful or to be complainers
John Grady: "We truly are a blessed Nation in spite of our political differences. All a person has to do is travel to other countries to realize how special our Country is."

What a great time of the year to celebrate a Thanksgiving weekend in spite of the challenges and trials we have gone through as a nation of people.

What many of us don’t know or realize is that in 1957 the Canadian Government declared that on the 2nd Monday of October we would have a national holiday to give thanks to Almighty God for His favor and blessing in our land.

How time and we the people have changed so that now we are thankful for the statutory holiday and our extra day off, or enjoying the turkey with all the extras including the pumpkin pie, or being together with family and all of those are good.

We truly are a blessed nation in spite of our political differences. All a person has to do is travel to other countries to realize how special our country is.

Canada is rich in our resources, our educational opportunities, how giving we are, our health care providers, our first responders who risk everything to serve our society, how our democracy allows us to vote in or out elected officials, how we have freedom of speech, the freedom to worship, how business people can choose to risk success or failure, how agriculture is such a gift for our Nation, how young people can dream of working toward a future in sports or the arts or whatever they dream of, how as a people we can support the lonely, the elderly, the disadvantaged.

Did I say it was perfect? No. What is special is that we can all play a part in changing and improving our nation and may we all do so. Oh did I forget to add that we have the choice to be thankful or to be complainers?

The Bible encourages us to give thanks to the Lord but if you go around a room of people and ask this simple question, “In the last year is there one thing you can thank the Lord for one thing He has done personally for you?”, it is amazing how many can not identify one act of His love, favour, mercy, forgiveness, or grace they have received from the Lord.

It reminds me of the story of the ten people with leprosy asking Jesus to heal them, which He did but out of the ten only one came back to thank Him. Let us be a nation to thank Him and if it was overlooked at this Thanksgiving weekend it is not too late to offer thanks to Him.

As we sing our national anthem let the words we sing “God keep our land” be our prayer and a year from now let us identify and acknowledge one thing He has done for you because He is not only always caring for us but He desires to be personal with us as well.

Thank you Lord for our Country of Canada, our family and friends but most of all for who You are!

John Grady lives and writes in Fort St. John.