Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

November 17, 2012

Remaining thankful in bleak times

Thank-fulness is about being grateful for what we have – and perhaps for what miseries we have avoided. To be thankful does not mean we deny problems or ignore unrealized dreams. Thankfulness gives us a balanced perspective. Our problems and worries monopolize our minds, often against our wills. But thankfulness takes effort and intentionality.

A plethora of sad news has recently come our way. Take the disastrous explosion in nearby Indianapolis that demolished 80 houses. John and Jennifer Longworth, a newlywed couple, died in that explosion, according RTV6. Jennifer was a particularly beloved teacher.

The situation on the East Coast has been more awful. The poor folks in New Jersey and New York have experienced loss of life and home, surviving in shelters or in their cold, powerless residences. We have friends who at one time lived in Kokomo and now dwell in New Jersey. Although their house was spared, they are still without power – and she had to have a surgery during this time. She is home, snuggling under the blankets as she convalesces.

Nearly half of our nation was displeased with the presidential election, some to the point of desperation. Folks in some regions are actually sending petitions to Washington for their states to secede from the union. The Texas petition garnered more than 100,000 signatures and reads in part: “… Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect its citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”

Other states have circulated similar petitions, and a few, all of them Southern states, have passed the 25,000 signature threshold.

A thankful person can be aware of all of the above, but he or she views things in a more balanced way. For example, a thankful person is grateful that Americans have the right to vote, that they exercised the right to vote, and that our nation has the leaders we deserve. If we have good leaders, it is because we practiced wisdom in our choices and deserve to be well led. If we have poor leaders, then we deserve them because of our foolishness. Rather than have leaders forced upon us through royal succession or central committees, we have the leaders we freely chose.

A thankful person is grateful that most of us enjoy the benefits of electricity more than 99 percent of the time. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful. This hasn’t been a wonderful year for me. I lost my sister and have experienced some disappointments. But I have an amazing wife and wonderful children, good friends, and my stomach is (too) full. Sometimes we only appreciate what we had, not what we have. I would like to be different. I want to thank God for my blessings while I still enjoy them. Join me, won’t you?

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

  • FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Learning from others' mistakes through literature If you’ve ever been locked out of somewhere — your home, your car, your workplace — I expect you could tell me all the details of the incident, even if it was years or decades ago. Why? Our brains remember major events, and it’s a big deal to be stra

    July 20, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller