It seems as though we hear constantly about nothing but the negativity, challenges, hurt and pain that are around us.

Granted, there is a lot of difficulty in our world, our nation and even our region today. The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped us for close to two years now. Work shortages have impacted our economy. There are supply chain issues that have led to shortages. Political divisions seem to have widened. Everywhere you look, there seems to be something wrong, something that needs fixed, something that could divide.

But this week, and especially Thursday, is the time we take each year to set aside and give thanks for the blessings we have.

And, if we truly stop and think about it, even in the midst of all the turmoil, unknowns and uncertainty, we indeed still have plenty to be thankful for.

Whether you agree or disagree with the direction this country is going, there is still little doubt that at this moment, we have the blessing of being able to call the greatest nation in the world home.

We have freedoms other nations don’t have the privilege of, paid for by the sacrifices of those who fought, served and died, all the way back to our Founding Fathers.

We have more in this nation than those living in other countries could even fathom. Most of us have loving families. Good jobs. Homes. Cars. Phones. Never want for food or drink.

What we don’t have, we often can purchase by walking into a store or, even more conveniently, clicking a mouse.

True, not everyone has it all. But even those in tough situations in this nation, more often than not have it better than most in the rest of the known world.

We can bicker, whine, complain and moan all we want about indiscretions, inequality, and all the wrongs we see.

But, for a day, let’s put all that aside. Let’s take some time this Thanksgiving to pause, reflect on all we have, thank the Lord for it, consider how we can help others and love our neighbors.

Then, rather than casting all that aside as soon as the last bite of turkey is gulped down and mobbing stores on Black Friday, let’s carry over the thankful heart.

Then do it again. And again. And again.

Perhaps if we take the meaning of Thanksgiving and live with gratitude and thankfulness more, and look out for our neighbors more, we can have a meaningful, lasting impact on the world around us.

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