February 12, 2016
I mentioned in an earlier post that some of the things I am thankful for might sound silly to some of you, but I have been through different periods in my life where I did without a lot of the basics that most people take for granted, and I learned to be thankful for them when I finally had them back. One of those is food. Yes today I am thankful for food, for full cupboards, for a full freezer and refrigerator. Even though I have to get some help with food from our local food pantry, I never go hungry anymore like I have before.
Although the Israelis had flocks and herds that took with them out of Egypt, they may have had reasons they couldn’t eat them. Some of those reasons could have been related to the religions of Egypt that worshiped some animals like cattle. Another reason could be that it was their only source of income and progress that they would need when they got to the promised land. The third could be that they just couldn’t stop long enough to butcher and cook a few sheep or cows. Whatever the reason was, God sent them manna from heaven to eat, and they soon complained about that, so he sent them quail until they couldn’t eat any more of it. There were several times in my life that I would have welcomed Manna from Heaven.
I look at my hunger days as days that God allowed me to go through, to show me the blessings he had in store for me. It was a way for him to show me all the things I should be thankful for. It was a way to teach me not to desire material wealth, but to be satisfied with the smaller, necessary things in life. It also gave helped me to understand just what I could make it through if times became lean again.
February 13, 2016
Back in the biblical days, there were no easy ways to communicate. Daughters would get married and move away to wherever their husband families were. Sometimes it would be 10, 20, 30 years before they would ever hear anything about their family. Sometimes they never saw or talked to them again.
As the nomadic people traveled from one area to another searching for places to feed their cattle and sheep and good ground to grow their crops, they would stop and visit with family and friends in small villages or encampments on the way if there were any. Since they traveled most of the year, they would not have any news of their family for months, even years.
Today we have so much technology that keeping in touch with family and friends is as easy as a couple key strokes or pushing a few buttons. I have family in Arizona, Florida and Ohio, and I am just thrilled that I can keep in touch with them through this technology. I can recall, when I was younger, that even when we did have phone service, long distance was something we could not afford, so we wrote letters. Sometimes it would be months before we would get an answer back and a lot can happen within those time frames. Today I am thankful for the technology that allows me to stay in close touch with family and friends.
February 14, 2016
I can remember when I was about 6, my step father took us to look at some houses in a new housing development. They all sat side by side on streets that all looked the same. Every house was white, they didn’t have lawns yet and they all looked exactly alike.
In later years when I have had to search for a place to live, I looked at some row houses in Cleveland, Ohio. They reminded me very much of the housing development we had looked at. There were five or six in a row, all attached to each other, all looked the same inside and out, other than the fact that the previous tenants had painted some of the rooms a different color. I thought “how boring” is this. I don’t want to live in a place exactly like my neighbors.
This also called to mind the military housing at the Air Force Academy, where we were bussed in from Black Forest because they had the only Junior and High School close to us. All the houses and streets looked exactly the same.
I have watched documentaries during my life that have showed that in Communist China and other countries everyone had to wear almost the exact same clothing. I also remember reading about Hitler tried to create a perfect race of soldiers. Each one had to be of a pure Aryan blood line. All of them were blond and blue eyed.
Imagine if we lived in a society where everyone looked alike, everyone had the same colored hair, the same skin tone, the same colored eyes and almost identical features. Now add to that having to live in identical houses and wear identical clothes. We might as well be a bunch of identical robots sitting in a warehouse together.
Today I am thankful for diversity. I am thankful that I can choose what kind of house I want to live in, what kind of furniture I want in it, what kind of curtains hang on the window and what kind of flowers I want in my front yard. I am thankful that I don’t look like, dress like, talk like or act like my neighbors. I am thankful that all my friends and family have different colored hair, different hair styles, wear different clothes, drive different cars and have different likes and dislikes.