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The following is adapted from something I wrote in my diary on Thanksgiving Day, 2003.
While sitting in Meeting for Worship today, I asked myself the hypothetical question: what would be the closest equivalent of the spirit of thanksgiving, if you didn't believe in a personal God, and thus, didn't believe that there was anyone to thank? And answered myself: I guess it would be feeling happy about something, glad about it, content in it.
Then I asked myself: what would it be like to have a gathering in which people expressed those feelings of gladness, in that way -- not as thanks to God? Probably many people would feel uncomfortable about that. It might not seem okay to just say out loud that you are glad about aspects of your own good fortune, without thanking God for them. It might seem insufficiently humble.
I don't want to discourage anyone from giving thanks in the traditional way, if that's what one is led to do. But I want to affirm that it's not a bad thing -- indeed, it's a very good thing -- simply to be glad about the good things in your life, and to say so.
This page created: 2009-09-27
© Copyright 2009 by Tom Edelson.