My Thanksgiving Prayer
By Bill Shepard
I have much to be thankful for and yet I find myself complaining about things I can do nothing about! Complaining is perhaps one of the oldest sins of mankind. It started in the Garden of Eden long ago, and few since have lived free of its guilt. I confess my guilt! I complain about the weather; it is too wet, too hot, and too cold, too windy and anything else that I might not like! We should all be glad that man is no in control of our weather patterns. Talk about a mess!
Complaining does not usually change anything! Everybody it seems is complaining and blaming our government these days, and I probably join in too much but nothing seems to change! Thanksgiving Day is nearly here, and perhaps it would do us all good, especially those of us who are given to complaining too much, to pause and give thanks for all of our blessings. Whether you like the kind of weather we are having or not, be thankful you are around to see it! There are millions who would gladly exchange places with you! Whether we like or agree with all that I going on in our blessed nation or not, be thankful that you live here and think of the millions who would gladly change places with you!
You may not have a big fat turkey and all that goes with it on your dinner table, but be thankful for what you do have! There is a good chance that millions will have less.
No, I am not trying to place a guilty feeling on you, I am confessing my own.
The poem that follows has been in my possession for more than fifty years. A young Bible teacher that taught Bible classes at a school where once I was a teacher gave it to me. A Bible teacher in a public school? Yes, that was a long time ago! The author is unknown, and I have never heard or seen it in any other place! Through the years, I have shared it many times when it was fitting to the occasion. Here it is again:
The World is Mine
Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair;
I envied her, she seemed so gay, and I wished I was as fair.
When she arose to leave, I watched her hobble down the aisle,
Under one arm, she held a crutch;
but as she passed, she smiled!
I said, “God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two good legs, the world is mine!
Later, while walking down the street
I saw a child with eyes of blue;
He stood and watched the others play,
it seemed he knew not what to do!
Then I said, why don’t you join the others, dear?
He looked ahead without a word, thank I knew;
he could not hear!
I said, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two good ears, the world is mine!
Later, I stopped to buy some sweets,
the lad that sold them had much charm.
I stayed and talked with him awhile,
if I were late it would do no harm.
When I turned to leave, he said,
“Thank you, you’ve been so kind;
It is nice to talk with folk like you,
you see,” he said. “I am blind.”
And I said, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes, the world is mine!
With legs to take me where I go,
Ears to hear what I would know –
Eyes to watch a sunset’s glow –
God forgive me when I whine,
I am blessed indeed, the world is mine!
Think about it, and have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Mr. Shepard is a native of Darlington, S.C., and a current resident of Piedmont, S.C. and author of “Mill Town Boy” and “Bruised”. He has been sharing his tales of growing up in Darlington for decades, and we are delighted to share them each week.
His mailing address for cards and letters is: Bill Shepard 324 Sunny Lane, Piedmont, S.C., 29673.