What is so great about giving thanks to God?
A friend brought me a book this week by Dr. Amen. His groundbreaking research in neurophysiology is incredible. One of his recommendations for repairing physiological brain issues? Gratitude and Spiritual Connection
This is a common theme in positive psychology and in the Bible. An attitude of gratitude to the Creator God is powerful, restorative, and health inducing.
Some of our key presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and others understood this and promoted it.
Personally, I think the “pardoning of the turkey” is a lame wandering away from one of the most powerful helps we can give our nation. It is fun, but it is not helpful.
In a time when depression, anxiety, violence, and alcohol and drug usage are epidemic, we need real solutions that bring joy. Money does not bring joy. Houses and cars and things do not bring joy. We need them, but that are not sources of mental and emotional wellbeing from which we have a good life. The U.S. is at an all time economic engine euphoric high and people are suffering an epidemic loss of joy.
So get some Thanksgiving to God generated this week. Take a few moments to list what has gone well this year and thank Him, the Creator God and Father of our Lord, Jesus, the Christ.
Here is George Washington’s take on the concept of Thanksgiving Day. He did not make it a national holiday, that happened later. From wikipedia
The First Presidential National Day of Thanksgiving
In Congress, Elias Boudinot introduced a resolution to create a joint committee to “wait on the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people a day of public prayer and thanksgiving,”
The resolution was opposed by Anti-Federalists, who opposed increased power of the central government. Chief among the opposition were Aedanus Burke, and Thomas Tudor Tucker. Burke was of the opinion that the holiday was too “European.” He “did not like this mimicking of European customs, where they made a mere mockery of thanksgivings.” Burke was referencing the fact that at thanksgivings, both sides of a war often sang Te Deum, a hymn of praise. He was objecting that both the winners and losers in a war gave thanksgiving. Tucker however, felt that the federal government did not have the power to propose a day of thanksgiving. He was of the opinion that “If a day of thanksgiving must take place, let it be done by the authority of the States.” Tucker also worried about the separation of church and state, as in his opinion, proclaiming a day of thanksgiving was a religious matter.
In the end, the resolution passed the House and the Senate, and a committee of Elias Boudinot, Roger Sherman, Peter Silvester, William Samuel Johnson, and Ralph Izard delivered the message to Washington on or before September 28, 1789. President Washington noted that “both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested [him] ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer.'” It was formally declared on November 26 to “be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” President George Washington made this proclamation on October 3, 1789 in New York City.
On the day of thanksgiving, Washington attended services at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City, and donated beer and food to imprisoned debtors in the city.