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Know who to give thanks to - Jason Smith

I wasn't sure if I was going to write a Thanksgiving column.

I'm sure this is not the only holiday-themed column that will be written by someone with a platform to do so, but several recent occurrences in my life have made it impossible for me not to touch on the sentiment behind the day we will celebrate Thursday.

This year has brought me into a job I love, and has taught me more about myself and the world around me. Aside from giving me a chance to enhance my resume and hone my skills, this job has introduced me to some very interesting people whose stories I am privileged to tell. For that, I am truly thankful.

As I've mentioned in previous columns, this year has also brought several opportunities to reconnect with people from my past, opportunities for which I will be forever grateful.

In some cases, I was able to pick up where I left off, and strengthen an existing bond. In the case of someone I saw last week for the first time in more than 15 years, I was able to put the past behind me and start fresh, building a bond that should have been there long ago.

Of course, I'm thankful for my wife, my family and friends, without whom I wouldn't be the person I have become. Whether that's a good thing or bad thing is probably up for debate in some people's eyes, but it's true nonetheless.

I have so much to be thankful for, and I know I take a lot of those blessings for granted more than I should.

However, as thankful as I am for all those things and all those people in my life, there's something else about this holiday that, oddly enough, often goes unsaid on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is not just a time to eat turkey and dressing and watch football. It's a time to remember the blessings we have, and the One who has given them to us. Thanksgiving is not about us. It's not about food, and it's not about football. It's about God and the grace He has bestowed on us.

Without God at the center of our minds on this holiday, Thanksgiving loses its meaning. I've said before that Christmas has lost much of its true meaning in this country and this world. I hope that doesn't happen with Thanksgiving as well, but I fear it's already happening.

On Thursday, people will give thanks for their families, friends, good food and their health, among other things. But, the real question is, who will they thank?

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.