Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.
It's a holiday that many people often say is their favorite one. No gifts to buy. No parties to attend. Just families and friends sharing a meal around the table.
But why should we be thankful?
The nation faces a massive debt. Washington is polarized. We're at war to keep terrorists from striking us. Poverty rates are alarming. The gap between rich and the middle class is widening. And that's before you even get off the front page.
So, why should we be thankful? And what should we be thankful for, either personally or at the larger national/global level?
Thanksgiving is a beautiful day wherein we lovingly gather around the table and all are very happy, all except for the innocent bird who has a knife in its back.
We all have many things to be thankful for. Number one is God, who arranges for all our facilities of life. Whenever there is a deficiency, we can see that deficiency either due to nature responding to our misuse and exploitative tendencies or directly in relation to our misuse and exploitative tendencies.
God does not only provide all of our subsistence but also arranges the education by which we can solve all of our problems by becoming fully God conscious. He teaches us how we can live sanely with such precepts as "Thou Shall Not Kill."
By God's will, He sometimes descends to this world as an avatar in His own form such as Krishna, Buddha, Rama and so on. Or sometimes He sends one of His unlimited sons, such as Jesus (or daughters) and empowers him to teach on His behalf.
This brings us to number two: We can be thankful for God's pure devotees, those who help others by teaching them how to be free from all distresses. By reawakening our natural relationship as a servants of God, such teachers teach by their example so that spiritual life can understood beyond the theoretical platform.
We have many, many other debts or persons to whom we should be grateful too, but none of them carry such weight as the first two choices.