Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today we have a guest post from David Sprinkle.  David and Lisa Sprinkle are the Co-Directors of Hope In Transit, a traveling music school reaching Native Americans for Christ.  You can find Hope In Transit's Facebook page at:!/hopeintransit?fref=ts

Here are David's thoughts:

In recent years, a great deal of debate has gone into the original Thanksgiving. I’ve seen debates on whether the pilgrims were good or bad. I’ve seen debates on whether the Native folks were helpful or warlike. I’ve seen debates whether the pilgrims where thankful to God or to the Native folks. I’ve seen debates on whether we should even have the holiday given the possible answers to some of the previous questions. I even saw a debate one time on whether there was more turkey or more fish at the original feast (seriously). I’d like to settle the score today, on all the arguments but the last one.

The pilgrims, much like you or me, were people who often tried hard to do the right thing and even more often missed the mark terribly, and tragically also sometimes didn’t try to do the right thing. It is possible that the Native folks were very helpful and started to feel defensive as more and more people arrived and more and more resources were used—they were not immune to the same problems the pilgrims faced during the winter and likely felt the need to insure their own survival as you or I would. I believe the pilgrims were thankful to God and the Native people who helped them, despite the later tragedy. And yes, I think we should still have the holiday.

The painful truth is the story you heard in grade school is true, and the story of the conquest and destruction by the pilgrims in the “King Phillip’s War” is also true. Before you get mad at me (on either side) hear me out. It is well known that Squanto helped the pilgrims and far lesser known that Massasoit helped them as well. What is lesser known still is what happened to Massasoit’s first son, and how those events, along with pressure on resources and culture sent his second son into war against the settlers and how the settlers came raging back with events like the Turner Falls massacre and many other unfortunate incidents.

“That’s a lot of bad news. Why do you still think we should celebrate?” you say. Because we have so much for which to be thankful, and we spend 364 days per year either complaining about not having enough or worrying and scurrying to try to correct not having enough or trying to protect what we have.

Starting tomorrow, we will be inundated with commercials telling us we don’t measure up if we don’t get our loved ones a diamond, a new car, or whatever. We will see the ultimate in altruism, commercials telling us how WE will benefit if we really outdo ourselves on gift giving. And yes, we will even see commercials telling us to buy gifts for ourselves because it is Christmas, as if we don’t do that 200 times per year. Then it will be New Year’s….get drunk to forget or celebrate or whatever it is—like we needed a day for that. Then Valentines Day (more gift pressure). Then Easter—Celebrating Jesus through huge amounts of chocolate. Then Memorial Day (a day where we remember fallen heroes with beer and racing). Then Independence Day (we’ll blow stuff up….but at least it will sort of be in gratitude to our founding fathers). Then Labor Day (a day off to celebrate work….kind of ironic). Then Halloween (free stuff if you look weird enough). Then Veteran’s Day (another holiday I can get with at least a little bit) and then we’re back around—a day to just be thankful.

The truth is, we spend an awful lot of time on ourselves. We do it everyday, then take holidays to really sharpen the focus. I like Thanksgiving because it gives me a chance to focus elsewhere.

So, yeah, you’re darn right I like this one more than all the others—I’m thankful for my God and Him saving me—I hope He’s strong, because I’m a mess. I’m thankful for my wife, my family, my Native brothers and sisters, my friends, my work, the provision God gives me whether it be bare sustenance or and overabundance at any given time and about 1,000,000 other things. I’m not going to gorge myself, get all bent out of shape over a football call or a non-cream-filled-non-bread-product not being available anymore, or forget the purpose of the holiday. More than that, I’m going to have thanksgiving day again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Is anyone with me?

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