By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
October in Canada (and November in the USA) is that special time of year when farmers harvest their crops of corn, pumpkins, squash, and winter potatoes. Nowadays in our high tech urbanized world we forget where our food comes from. In the old days farmers waited anxiously for a good harvest, knowing that their very future depended on it. Crop failure could mean poverty or even starvation. Much of our early immigration consisted of the victims of European famines, such as the Irish potato famines. There was no Government welfare in those days to buffer a bad crop. As a result, a good crop in the Fall brought heartfelt thanksgiving.
The farmers felt so grateful that they would take part of their crop and rush into the nearest church to give thanks to the Lord of the Harvest. To celebrate a successful wheat harvest, the grain would be ground into fine flour, made into bread and eaten at the communion service. Children, in particular, enjoy seeing the fruit, flowers and vegetables decorating the church. The whole emphasis of the Harvest Thanksgiving weekend is to say “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you”. The very word “Eucharist” in the Christian Communion Service means “Thank You”.
Thankfulness is the secret to a happy and fulfilled life. It is so easy to complain, so!, easy to become bitter, so easy to become cynical about life.’ The best antidote for cynicism is thanksgiving. Instead of grumbling about your spouse, try thanking God for them. Instead of complaining about your work, try thanking God that you have a job. instead of resenting your children when they’re noisy, thank God that they are alive and well. This Harvest Thanksgiving, let’s develop an attitude of gratitude. As one poster put it, “Happiness is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank”.
Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News.
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