The Sheriff Speaks: Thanksgiving Thoughts
Friday, October 30th, 2020
If there was ever a year in need of a Thanksgiving holiday, this is it. 2020 has hit the world in a way none of us could have anticipated and full recovery is not yet within sight. Yet, even in the midst of this global pandemic, coupled with the economic uncertainty and political strife, there is much to be thankful for. For many, this pandemic helped us to refocus on the things that are truly important: faith, family, and relationships.
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday set aside as a time for us to give thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. I know there are a handful of other countries that have thanksgiving-type holidays; basically harvest festivals. As far as I know, only our holiday celebrates an attitude of thanksgiving. Only ours is specifically meant to thank God for the many blessings He bestows on us.
Thanksgiving is a holiday with very deep meaning for me personally. My life has been so blessed in so many ways that it takes a special time of reflection to recount them all. I am thankful for my family, from my parents and all others who came before that created the traditions I have been taught and the values that I was raised with. I am also thankful for my siblings that helped shape both my childhood and my life, to my wife and children who have enriched my life beyond measure, and for my grandchild who reminds me that my time here is just one step in a continuing legacy.
I have been blessed in my career. I am incredibly blessed by the trust and confidence you have given me by electing me to serve as your Sheriff. I am especially thankful for the opportunity to work with the youth of our community. Every child I have encountered has touched my heart and life in a special way. In fact, I have been blessed by each assignment given to me from the moment I first came to work as a jailer in 1982. Every assignment, every challenge, and every interaction helped to shape me into the man I am today and I am thankful for every bit of it, even if I didn’t recognize some things as blessings at the time.
My sincere hope for this Thanksgiving is that every person who reads this article has the opportunity to really examine their life and recount all of the things that have turned out to be blessings. Some things are obvious, like the birth of a child or a promotion at work. Some may not be as apparent, like losing a job, which creates an opportunity to begin a more rewarding career; or an argument with a loved one that clears up an unresolved issue and brings you closer. Many blessings are hidden just beneath a thin layer of life.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in the book of 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18. Paul is exhorting the brethren by telling them to rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. All of us have only one opportunity at the game called life, so remember to be thankful for each and every day that God blesses you with. Also, during this season, remember those who have lost loved ones this year and will be spending his or her first Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday alone.