Right in the centre - Thanksgiving 2021


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God.

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God.

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God.

In Christ Jesus concerning you!”

The simple song above pretty much sums up what our attitude should be.

I stand to be corrected, but note that the song says “in everything,” not “for everything”. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I am not a deep student of Christianity, but the song to me means to maintain a thankful heart (and mouth) through all circumstances, rather than to be thankful for all our circumstances. Being thankful is something we can control and it sure helps to get us through stuff if we maintain a thankful heart.

Thanksgiving weekend has always been meaningful to me. As a child, it meant that the summer work was mostly done, the season changed and even though cold weather was on the way, life on the farm was bit easier. It meant my brother would be coming home and later his family, as well. It meant my uncle and aunt would be coming out from the city. It meant straw bale stacks, lots of garden produce and, oh yes, fire wood to haul into the house. Yes, the never-ending wood pile, but without the old woodpile, it was pretty tough to stay warm.

Fifty-two years ago on the Thanksgiving Day, my wife Christine and I got married. Fifty-two years seems like a long time and yet time has gone by very quickly. We are thankful for our marriage, our family, our friends and for God’s love for us. We hope we have been able to pass on God’s love to a few people along the way.

My father’s birthday was Oct. 10 and, although he is long gone, I am thankful for the memories. He always said the weather was nice on Oct. 10. It usually is.

And I am thankful not just for memories of him, but my mother and my in-laws as well. In these trying times, I am thankful they didn’t have to live through the past two years. It has been very tough on older people and our parents didn’t have to go through all the turbulence of the past two years. They had enough of their own troubles in their 80 or so years on earth.

The thing with thankfulness is that it doesn’t cost money, nor a lot of time. It really isn’t a lot of effort except to walk by the things that are too tough to be thankful for. There’s a simple solution for the tougher things. Pray about them, give them over to God, walk away even, sometimes that’s just the best thing to do.

Last year at this time of year, I wrote, “Our 50 years of marriage has produced two sons that resulted in four grandchildren and two great grandchildren (now three as of 2021). It also resulted in us deepening our faith in God, our appreciation of Christ our Saviour, us having hundreds of friends and acquaintances and last, and maybe least, our business and political life. We have invested over 50 years, and countless dollars, into family, farming, auctioneering, running for political office and building a tiny publishing empire. We still invest in those things every day, well past “retirement” age.

Thank you all, with special thanks to Christine, for making the last five decades what it has been. It’s been mostly good, and the rest we learned from. How much more time we have on earth, only God knows. The past and the future can only be summed up as, “To God be the glory…”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.