What’s a Michigan Thanksgiving?

What’s a Michigan Thanksgiving? Just ask the chief executives of the Big Three auto makers, who with hat in hand this week begged Congress for $25 billion of bailout loans. While it’s hard to sympathize with 8-figure compensated corporate executives, the plight of 175,000 Michigan auto industry workers is concerning. If GM, Ford or Chrysler were to go bankrupt, siren voices are predicting “a nuclear winter” and “an economic tsunami” for our home state. Who knows? A chart in the South Bend Tribune on Wednesday shows a cluster of 29 auto industry facilities right here in Berrien County that would be affected. Michigan already owns the dubious distinction of leading the nation for two years in unemployment, and we are among the top ten states for home foreclosures. For what then shall we be grateful this season of thanksgiving? “I complained I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” Even in this season of troubling economic downturn, our lists of reasons to be thankful are indeed still long, are they not? No wonder the apostle, whose meager life belongings consisted of a change of clothing, a walking staff and a pair of sandals, could pen the admonition: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:13). “In everything”? In everything. For apparently there is no downturn that God cannot upturn for the good of his friends (see Romans 8:28). Which is why a grateful soul is such a contagious witness. For God. In Michigan. And to the ends of the earth.