There is a great scene in the movie Castaway where the Tom Hanks character succeeds, after many efforts, to build a fire. I did this, he shouts to no one. I made fire. One of the great illusions in human life is that things depend on me and as a result what I do is all about me. The problem with this way of thinking is that it soon becomes, what economists call, a zero sum game. If I have something, you have less. If I eat this piece of pecan pie, less pie for you. Thanksgiving Day is a good occasion to re-think our understanding of reality. For in reality the fact that I have the ability to make fire is a gift from God, that I woke up this morning and put two feet on the ground is a gift from God, that I can take a breath is a gift of God, the fact that I exist is a gift of God. Everything is a gift. God fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to his will! according to the Old Testament. In this way of thinking if I have something it is not about me but meant for the building up of God’s world. The fire does not just warm me, it warms everyone who is near. Today as we count our blessings — all of which God gave us — let us ask that God for guidance in my part in making this world a more just and peaceful place.