A few months after his inauguration, George Washington issued “Presidential Proclamation Number One”, declaring his first Thanksgiving as the first President. In that proclamation, he said some pretty impressive things:
…to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country…
…To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.” (excerpted from Wikipedia)
I wonder what he meant by “true religion”. I think that the lofty goals mentioned in his proclamation are indicative of the true religion that dwells in every sincere heart. That inner-relationship with the Creator that one can sense when we quiet the tumult of man-made affiars for a moment and just…listen.
I’m writing this about 6 AM at my home in Imperial Beach. The rest of the neighborhood is still asleep. Its one of those peaceful moments when I can hear myself think. And since it’s Thanksgiving – the greatest of all National Holidays in my estimation (when else can I overeat without guilt?)- I’m thinking of that for which I am thankful.
I’m thankful for “true religion”. By that I mean True Religion as defined by Abdu’l-Baha’ who said:
True religion is the foundation of spiritual union, the union of thought, the union of susceptibilities, the unity of customs and the ideal chain binding together all the children of men.
… In short, by religion we mean those necessary bonds which have power to unify. This has ever been the essence of the religion of God.
So it seems that this holiday itself could be a symbol of true religion, IF we allow it to serve as as a bond of unity between us.
I’m thankful for all the bonds of unity I have with others. First and foremost in my mind is my bond of unity with my dear bride Deb. What a gift of God she is to me. And folks, I may look 50-something, but thanks to her, I’m living like a pair of 25’s!!
I’m thankful for bonds of unity my family – what a delightful group of folks. My daughters’ enthusiam, my siblings’ consolations, and my dear mother’s counsels. My mom is so cool. At 82 (Happy Birthday Mom), she still mows her own lawn – because she enjoys it! I told her that even if I wasn’t her son, I’d still hang out with her.
I’m thankful for bonds of unity with all my friends who teach me so much. My friends struggling through rough times – teaching me how to endure. My friends rejoicing in times of ease – teaching me an “attitude of gratitude”. My friends who listen and respond with caring – reminding that I will never be alone. And all those friends of mine I haven’t even met yet with whom I’ll one day have a chance to laugh.
Yes, it’s Thanksgiving and I have many bonds of unity for which to be thankful. Developing Bonds of Unity – now that’s being truly religious. This afternoon, I’m going to get truly religious with a plate of turkey, and dressing, and potatoes – sweet potatoes!, and pie, and… <wink>///Darrell Darrell Rodgers Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist http://darrellsongs.com