By the time this article is published, Thanksgiving Day for another year will have come and gone.  It is a joyous thing that we have a national day of celebration, and a reminder to be thankful for what we have, no matter how good or bad our circumstances are at this time.

Thanksgiving Day should not be the sole or primary occasion where we conscientiously seek to give thanks for all that we are blessed with.  We should always be thankful, whether it is for our homes, the meals in which we partake of daily, or thankful for just having the presence of family and friends in our lives to name a few. God should always be the foundation of our praise and thanksgiving.

The word “thanks” not counting thankful and thanksgiving is mentioned 75 times in the Bible. Here is an example of three biblical persons with a short synopsis of their grateful attitudes:

David, when he was a shepherd overseeing the family sheep herd, continually praised and gave thanks to Almighty God for His love, protection and daily provisions.  We see this throughout his writings in the Psalms, including this one: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4).

In the New Testament; Jesus lived a life of gratitude and thanksgiving.  When he fed the multitudes, he first offered thanks to God for the loaves and fish in his hands.  Following an act of healing, Jesus would often instruct the healed one to give thanks to God.

The apostle Paul was continually thanking God in his writings to the early church, encouraging the early believers to do the same.  He considered gratitude an act of faith – recognition of what God has done in one’s life.  According to Paul, only where gratitude is present is there true faith (Romans 1.21).  So as believers we are to pray always with thanksgiving in our hearts.

I know that it can be difficult sometimes, but even with days of chaos in our lives we should always give thanks. It is a fact that our daily journey is not always on the mountain top, but spent most of our time walking in the valleys.  So be thankful anyway.

As leaders of youth, we should set the example and teach our youth the importance of this concept.  Remember to say grace at meals on Scout outings and vesper services on outings as well. Give thanks that we as leaders can and have the opportunity to teach our youth the virtues of Scouting, and that of the Scout Law, including that of “Reverence.”

Lastly my friends; my wish for you is that every day be a happy, “Thanksgiving Day.”

thomas-twiningThis article was written by Rev. Thomas Twining REC for the Piedmont District, Blue Ridge Mountain Council, BSA

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