Time of Thanks

Tab Article

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

7 November 2011

Time of Thanks

With long term unemployment or unemployment, the sinking dollar, and the economy still sliding like a greased watermelon it is not always easy to give thanks.

Americans are considered a hearty stock going back to the really tough beginnings of Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims first winter where most of the first settlers died. These first settlers relied upon each other and focused on what they had and not on what they did not have. Everyday they gave thanks as they worked with their neighbors the Native Americans. When the next harvest was in they gathered with their neighbors to give thanks to God and each other in a celebration we now call Thanksgiving.  Today Thanksgiving is more of a commercial event. However each person should reflect on what they have and be thankful for that.

A man was giving his testimony at one of those old Salvation Army open-air street meetings.

As he was testifying, a heckler in the crowd yelled, “Why don’t you shut up and sit down? You’re just dreaming.”

Immediately that heckler felt a tug on his coat. He looked down to see a little girl, who said: “Sir, may I speak to you? That man who is talking up there is my daddy. Daddy used to be a drunkard. He used to spend all of the money he made on whiskey. My mother was very sad and would cry most of the time.

Sometimes when my daddy would come home, he would hit my mother. I didn’t have shoes or a nice dress to wear to school. But look at my shoes. And see this pretty dress? My daddy bought these for me.”

But the little girl wasn’t through with that heckler yet.

“See my mother over there? She’s the one with the bright smile on her face. She’s happy now. She sings even when she’s doing the ironing.”

Then the little girl said, “Mister, if my daddy is dreaming, please don’t wake him up.”

This little girl so very thankful for the real change she saw in her Dad that she could not keep it to herself. Her Dad was so thankful for the change in his life he could not keep it to himself. With his wife by his side he told the world about how he used to be an underachieving, depressed, drunken, abusive man and how his life was different now. The biggest witnesses to his change were his wife and daughter right there in the crowd. This Dad could have continued to blame all kinds of things for his own failings however he took personal responsibility for his part and started the rebuilding process. He asked for and received assistance as a hand up, not a hand out along the way. Ultimately it was the Dad doing his part to work on the things he needed to work on that made this testimony possible.

It is well known that in economic hard times that the amount of people being treated for the medical condition of a mental illness of depression increases.  We also know that incidents of domestic violence increase during economic hard times.  It is generally the feeling of hopelessness that can trigger depression, suicide attempts, violence, and other crimes.

There are many people and groups willing to help others get their lives on track, if you are willing to do your part. If your doctor told you take a certain medication to get rid of an infection and you did not take the medication then you can not blame anyone or anything for not getting better. You can help someone begin their journey with a smile and good conversation. Anything you can do to help someone would be appreciated.

You can check with your local churches or your local Salvation Army for assistance. There are also some links on our church website for assistance. For mortgage foreclosure defense you can try MyLegalHelpUSA.com

Being thankful is a state of mind and heart. It is an attitude of gratitude that will brighten your day and of those around you. You should not wait for one day a year to give thanks, it should be everyday. Today is a good day to start.

Rev. Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

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