There are times in our lives when we look in the mirror and evaluate our priorities, our principles, our relationships and ourselves. Different occasions prompt these assessments, and for many, Thanksgiving is one of those times when we consider those things we sincerely value; things that we are truly thankful for.
Last week, Lifeway Research released the findings of an online survey that asked 1,000 Americans what they were thankful for based on ten different options, which included personal freedom, health, friends, family, wealth, fun experiences, opportunities, memories, achievements, and safety and security. Overall, a resounding 88 percent of those surveyed said they were thankful for family. This was followed by health at 77 percent and personal freedom at 72 percent. In addition, when asked to whom you typically give thanks, almost two-thirds of respondents answered God.
It is clear that those of us who give thanks to God on this special day are not alone. In fact, it was President Abraham Lincoln who issued a Proclamation of Thanksgiving on October 3, 1863, and officially designated the fourth Thursday of November to be set aside for national observance. Here is a portion of the original text:
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States,
and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands,
to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next,
as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father
who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up
the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings,
they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans,
mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged,
and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds
of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the
Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
This Thanksgiving Day, let us lift a prayer of thanks for the blessings of family, friends and freedom. Let us also consider these words from Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation, and lift a prayer of peace and unity for our nation today. As a special note, I am using the portrait of Abraham Lincoln painted by my father for the image of this blog. I am truly thankful for family.
May your family have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
For the full text of the Thanksgiving Proclamation, visit http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm
To view the Lifeway Research survey, visit http://blog.lifeway.com/newsroom/2016/11/15/lifeway-research-friends-and-family-matter-more-than-money-this-thanksgiving/
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