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Thoughts on Turkey Day

Thoughts on Turkey Day

Hello, everyone.

Below is a Thanksgiving message that I sent to my cousins.  I thought that I would share it with everyone who follows this blog.

As the patriarch of the Hunt Cousins, I am going to exercise a bit of patriarchal privilege.

Tomorrow is Turkey Day, or Thanksgiving if you prefer, and I want to wish you all a happy holiday tomorrow.

The idea of Thanksgiving is to reflect on the past year and to thank God for his blessings during that period. However, I want to reflect on some of the blessings he has given me during my seven decades of life.

1. I am thankful for my eyesight. You may or may not know this, but when I was born in 1942, I was injured at birth. The doctor brought me into the world with forceps, and I had neurological damage. He told my mother that either my eyesight or my hearing would be affected, but he didn’t know which at that time. Of course, it ended up being my eyesight.

All of my life I have fought to survive in a sighted world. I have had to forgo much of the joy and happiness that a fully sighted person enjoys. And like my black brothers and sisters, I have had to endure much ignorance and prejudice.

But at the same time, I have been able to carve out a full life. I have taken some trips that not only brought me joy, but have created memories that still live decades after the events. I am an avid reader and have been blessed to have acquired much knowledge and pleasure from my reading. And I have been able to preserve my memories through pictures and video. I became a capable pianist and organist, and at one time I had two traveling music ministries going on at the same time. So I have been blessed indeed in spite of my visual shortcomings.

Lord, forgive me when I whine. I have my eyes; the world is mine.

2. I am thankful for my hearing. God may have dimmed my eyes, but he blessed me with hearing. I know the joy of hearing the songs of birds on a summer morning and the sound of the rain falling in a shower. I have been blessed to enjoy the sound of a Brahms symphony or a Wagner overture. And I have been blessed as well to hear the three most beautiful words that one person can say to another: “I love you.” Yes, I have been blessed indeed.

Lord, forgive me when I whine. I have my ears; the world is mine.

3. I am thankful for my mind. As I mentioned above, I was injured at birth. Mother told me once that when the doctor gave them the news about me, that she and Grandma asked him if it would affect my mind, and that he told them that it would not. Mother told me that after the doctor left, that Grandma picked me up and prayed to God that if my eyes or ears had to be affected, that he would give me a good mind to compensate for the other. He answered her prayer. I was elected to the National Honor Society during my senior year in high school. In college, I ended up with a B- average without cracking the books too much. God gave me a mind that is not content with pat answers. If the word “why” did not already exist, I probably would have invented it. In matters of faith, I have NO use for the stupid nonsense about the “blood” or the “cross.” Instead, I want a message from God that helps me to make sense out of my life or that tells me what I can do to make this a better world for my having passed through it. When my beloved Carol was alive, her life saying was “I hate stupid!” I hate stupid as well. But I can accept “stupid” on the part of children and teen-agers. After all, they are growing and broadening their life experiences, and thus are in the act of learning. But I CAN NOT and DO NOT accept “stupid” from supposedly rational and “intelligent” adults. So I would say that God answered my Grandma’s prayer in spades!

Lord, forgive me when I whine. I have my wits; the world is mine.

4. I am thankful for all of my life experiences. As I said above, all of my life I have fought to survive in a sighted world. I have had to forgo much of the joy and happiness that a fully sighted person enjoys. And like my black brothers and sisters, I have had to endure much ignorance and prejudice.

But at the same time, I have had wonderful experiences. In 1965, I went to the baseball All-Star Game at the old Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis. In 1966, I went down to Houston and watched some baseball at the then-new Astrodome. I have wet my feet in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. I have seen the “America the Beautiful” that Katherine Lee Bates wrote about, from the same place that she saw it – the top of Pike’s Peak.

And I have had wonderful experiences with my music as well. I was privileged to be the pianist for a large religious meeting at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines in 1974, and at another such meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Civic Auditorium, in 1975. In February of 1973, Phil Dicks, a friend of mine for whom I was the accompanist, and I went into a recording studio in Davenport, Iowa, and cut a demo record. And I have heard reports that our record got some radio airplay down in Kentucky.

But most of all, I have been absolutely privileged to have had some thoroughly wonderful and outstanding people cross my path. These include my four Hunt uncles, and you, my Hunt cousins, first of all. I have had some wonderful teachers, like Marie Cain in high school, Dr. Dorothy Box in college, and Dr. Calvin Huenemann in graduate school. I have been blessed to have sat under the ministry of some fabulous pastors, like Rev. Floyd Murphy of my boyhood, Rev. Edward Ferguson during my graduate school days, Rev. Jerry Brown in my home town, and Rev. Peter Barnes at First Presbyterian Church in Boulder, Colorado. I have been blessed to have known countless wonderful people through my music ministry in the United Methodist Church – too many for me to even consider mentioning by name. I will mention one name – Rev. Dennis Bennett, who essentially began the Charismatic Renewal Movement in the mainline churches during the 1970s. I met him at the meeting in Grand Rapids in 1975.

So all in all, God made up for my eyesight by blessing me with a wonderful, full life.

Lord, forgive me when I whine. I have my life; the world is mine.

In case it sounds like I am blowing my own horn, let me be quick to assure you that that is NOT – and I mean NOT – my purpose. What I have written about has been essentially the sum of my life, and I am expressing my gratitude to God for allowing me to have had these experiences.

In 1954, Paramount Pictures released a film titled “White Christmas.” It starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Dean Jagger, among others. Irving Berlin wrote the songs used in it. One of the songs was titled “Count Your Blessings,” and it contained the following lines:

So when you’re worried and cannot sleep,

Just count your blessings instead of sheep,

And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.

How true! I have tried that many times during my lifetime, and it always works.

I know that all of you have your personal and family blessings that you are are grateful for. So when you sit down to the turkey or ham tomorrow, take a little time to let God know that you are thankful for all those blessings. I know that he would love to hear you say so.

Everyone have a very happy Turkey Day / Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Bill

 

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November 21, 2012 - Posted by | Miscellaneous, Religion |

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