On this day set aside for the specific purpose to thank Almighty God for His sovereign providence in our nation (see George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation) it is appropriate to reflect on His grace and goodness for allowing us to live in this glorious experiment in liberty and to realize that our place here in this great nation is not a right, but it is a sacred honor and trust. In these uncertain times filled with economic upheaval, foreign policy fears and moral crisis on every hand, there is peace in knowing that no matter the conflict and turmoil that surrounds us, our God is in control (Psalm 73:26). We may not understand His reasons behind them, but we must remember that if we did understand all of His ways, then WE would be God! (This is what drives the new atheists crazy. They have this misguided notion that somehow if there is a God, he has to live up to their standard! But I digress.)
We have so much for which to be thankful. The fact that God has given us life in the first place is enough to praise and thank Him forever. Even as simple as the air we breathe, the food we eat, our families, our friends, our churches, any good things that come into our lives are reasons to give all of our praise and adoration to our Almighty God. So it is especially gratifying when I am reminded of these things in peculiar ways.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of 70’s and 80’s light rock music. Bands like Toto, Chicago, Journey, and the Doobie Brothers are a staple of what I listen to on my iPod. Thanks to Netflix, I have been able to watch and enjoy several music concerts and music video collections on DVD, including concerts by Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Toto, Michael McDonald, & Kenny Loggins and found this is a great way to rediscover what it was that drew to their music in the first place. As a musician myself, the whole process of creating music is fascinating to me. I have spent countless hours critically listening to and deconstructing songs that I want to learn in order to assist in creating my own music. So when I find someone who clearly has a remarkable gift, I love to sit back and enjoy the results.
Lately, I have been listening a lot to the Eagles and have especially been admiring the way that Don Henley can craft a lyric. Don wrote one of my top 5 rock songs of all time in “Boys of Summer” and so when I saw his “Inside Job, Live” DVD on Netflix, I put it in my queue. Having thoroughly enjoyed the Eagles “Farewell Tour I, Live in Melbourne,” I was really looking forward to this concert. Toward the end of the DVD, Don did a song off of his Inside Job” CD (which at that time I had not heard yet, even though it came out in 2000. I’m just a little slow, but that’s beside the point!) that really took me by surprise. The song is called, “My Thanksgiving.” The title really intrigued me and I began listening. Here are the lyrics:
Well a lot of things have happened since the last time we spokeSome of them are funny some of them ain’t no jokeAnd I trust you will forgive me if I lay it on the lineI always thought you were a friend of mineAnd sometimes I think about youAnd I wonder how you’re doing nowAnd what you’re going through‘Cause the last time I saw you we were playing with fireWe were loaded with passion and a burning desireFor every breath, for every day of livingThis is my thanksgivingNow the trouble with you and me, my friend is the trouble with this nationToo many blessings, too little appreciationAnd I know that kind of notion well, it just ain’t coolSo send me back to Sunday SchoolBecause I’m tired of waiting for reason to arriveIt’s too long we’ve been living these unexamined livesI’ve got great expectations I’ve got family and friendsI’ve got satisfying work I’ve got a back that bendsFor every breath, for every day of livingThis is my thanksgivingAnd have you noticed that an angry man can only get so farUntil he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be with the way things areHere in this fragmented world, I still believeIn learning how to give love, and how to receive itAnd I would not be among those who abuse this privilegeSometimes you get the best light from a burning bridgeAnd I don’t mind saying that I still love it allI wallowed in the springtime now I’m welcoming the fallFor every moment of joy every hour of fearFor every winding road that brought me hereFor every breath, for every day of livingThis is my thanksgivingFor everyone who helped me startAnd for everything that broke my heartFor every breath, for every day of livingThis is my thanksgiving”