As we approach Thanksgiving, few of us are totally destitute of blessings from God. If you feel that God has been stingy with you, try this simple exercise. Place a small mirror under your nose. If a subtle mist forms, you can certainly celebrate the blessing of life that God has given you. Happy Thanksgiving!
It is a blessing for me to be born and raised deep in the heart of Texas. My little boy hands have tormented horned toads, walking sticks, stink bugs, and armadillos. Many sunsets have been spent slapping mosquitoes, watching bats, and listening to Cicadas as they sing their mating serenade. For being too curious, I have been stung by scorpions, yellow jackets, and pipe organ mud daubers. But that’s all part of living in the Lone Star State. Thanksgiving is a way of life in the happy state of Texas!
Texas is probably the only state in the USA with two thanksgivings. Let me explain. Of course, Texans celebrate the traditional Thanksgiving that originated when the Mayflower docked at Plymouth Rock. In 1620, 102 pilgrims traveled 66 days over the Atlantic Ocean in search of a land of religious freedom and personal prosperity. Over their first winter, almost one-half died from the harsh weather conditions. In the Spring, they were welcomed to the New World by friendly Native Americans. Members of the local tribes taught the pilgrims how to plant corn, hook fish, and grow food for themselves.
In the Fall of 1621, the pilgrims and the Native Americans gathered together for a wonderful harvest feast that was filled with gratitude and friendship. In 1789, President George Washington designated the first national observance of Thanksgiving. The tradition has been carried forth since then. It is a wonderful day for all Americans.
But Texans have another day of Thanksgiving to celebrate. In 1842, the Republic of Texas was facing war with Mexico again. The Republic had major financial problems, and there was disunity in politics and in the military. Things looked dismal for the fledgling country. However, Texas had a President with strength and resolve. Sam Houston stood before the frightened citizens and boldly proclaimed his thankful desire "to render evidence of national blessings ... and a profound belief in an Almighty God." For all of his moral weaknesses, Houston knew to go to God for help. He further stated, "the Texan people have been the objects of the peculiar care ... of a Divine Providence" so they could "occupy a place among the independent governments of the earth." He almost sounded like a preacher!
After explaining the situation, President Sam Houston declared March 2 as Texas Independence Day. He then called for various forms of religious worship including singing and prayers. He wanted Texas Independence Day to be a day of vocal thanksgiving to God for all the blessing He had provided. This day would also serve to unite the Republic and strengthen the morale of the citizens. We still honor Texas Independence Day, but rarely in the manner Sam Houston prescribed.
So, yes, Texans have two official days for Thanksgiving. But really, everyday should be Thanksgiving. Look at the bountiful blessings God has provided. As you gather with your family and friends for the annual feast on the fourth Thursday of November, bow before the Lord and give Him thanks for the very breath that you breathe.
IDEA! Why not give each member of your family a small mirror as a gift this Thanksgiving, too?