Thanksgiving Alone With God

     Thanksgiving Day found the old cowboy high in the mountains, with only his mare and the old dog for company; he looked around at the beauty God had created and could not fail to give humble thanksgiving for all he had received. What a marvelous world He has created for His children.

     Looking back over his life the old cowboy dusted off memories long forgotten. Mother's thanksgiving spread, the hours she spent over that hot fire, and her magic with the foods she placed before the large family in that simple old farm house. A venison roast from the forest slowly cooked to tenderness in her old cast-iron Dutch oven with carrots and pratties dug with her own hands. Corn and green beans from the garden, sweet-potato pie, a ham from dad's old smoke house, and a turkey killed by his brother in the woods down by the creek.

     The smells, the laughter, the family gathered around! Then after dinner dad got out his fiddles, violin and cello, and mom sat in her old bent-wood rocking chair, old cowboy will never forget the sound of his brother's clear Irish tenor singing those old Gaelic hymns. He always sang mom's favorite as dad played:

Be Thou My Vision

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word
I ever with thee, thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I thy true Son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my battleshield, sword for the fight
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight
Thou my soul's shelter, thou my high tower
Raise thou me heavenward, O power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only, first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, after victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

     And kneeling there before the fire on that lonely mountain top the old cowboy felt God's mighty presence in the light that seemed to fall all around him. Yes Thanksgiving found him in the mountains, but in no way was he ever alone.

© 2003/2010 ~ David L. Griffith

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