Reflecting on the blessings we have
Out on a Limb
Thanksgiving has just passed. It’s a great time of year to stop focusing on our frustrations and spend some time reflecting on the blessings we have.
Living in this area of Colorado, we have been free of all the devastating weather phenomenon happening in the U.S. and around the world.
I can’t conceive of 170-mph winds, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes or tornadoes.
I am extremely thankful to live here in the Colorado River Valley.
We are also not burdened with extreme poverty.
Our government chooses to randomly set an income standard to define poverty.
By their definition I guess many of us are living below the poverty level but it doesn’t even come close to what other countries experience.
I have been to Haiti, which, at that time, was rated as the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
That was before the devastating earthquake a few years ago.
I saw raw sewage flowing down ditches along the streets in Port au-Prince.
I had a flat tire and the repairman stuck the tire down in that ditch to find the leak.
Even back then many residents lived in little structures made of brush and tree branches.
People would stand by the road with a hand outstretched calling out “Un Dolla”. One dollar there was equivalent to a day’s wage.
Women and girls walked long distances to the spring carrying water in five-gallon buckets balanced on their heads.
Many children had only one or two pieces of clothing and often ran around virtually naked.
My heart grieves when we have many so-called poor with flat-screen TVs, automobiles and food stamps while those in Haiti are struggling to stay alive.
On a lighter note, I entered a Haitian school room and saw a boy sitting there wearing a T-shirt that said, “ski Sunlight.”
That experience reinforced my appreciation for people such as those in a Glenwood Springs church that care enough to help meet the desperate needs of those really poor people.
Haiti is virtually devoid of natural resources.
In early times Haiti shipped out beautiful mahogany, but that’s all gone.
All petroleum products are shipped in.
Manufacturing is almost non-existent.
The night air is filled with the sound of voodoo drums.
Are you beginning to feel really thankful that you live in this beautiful, quiet valley?
I sat on a high ridge a few mornings back and watched the sun rise on the surrounding mountains covered with fresh snow.
Then I eased my four-wheeler down and watched the morning mist rise off the beautiful Colorado River.
I looked at the beautiful homes perched on the surrounding hills and a real sense of gratitude filled my heart.
Our amazing founding pilgrims had lost about half of the colony during that first winter and yet worked industriously to build homes and raise crops.
The Thanksgiving celebration that they established was not a pity party. But a time of deep appreciation for the opportunity of a new beginning, free from tyranny and open to opportunity.
I can just visualize a pilgrim dying that first winter and reaching out to the spouse with the words, “Don’t give up; keep the vision of freedom and trust in God’s provision.”
What courage and what vision. Where has it gone?
Consider the price our pilgrims paid to be free from the shackles of government tyranny.
Appreciate the great nation that was forged by people willing to deal with the consequences and to seize the opportunity.
No one told them what to eat or guaranteed their tomorrow.
No one required a permit to invent an automobile and yet they forged the greatest nation in human history.
Be thankful for what God has set before us and be thankful for those that sought his blessing and guidance.
Give us freefrom!
—“Out On A Limb” appears on the first Tuesday of the month. Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle, where he is a business owner.
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