And our stories on the Journey to Thanksgiving continue. I love this one…
Meanwhile, back in Holland, the Pilgrims (that would finally come via the Mayflower) were still in Scrooby but were preparing to finally set sail for the New World. Their destination was supposed to be the Hudson River. (The area we currently call Manhattan.)
But the weather and tides weren’t cooperating when they arrived. After two attempts, they realized landing as planned just wasn’t going to happen. They simply acknowledged fate and wound up finding themselves reaching land, but only very far north of their goal. And just where was that place? Plymouth, Massachusetts. Ironically, this area was outside of the legal boundaries of their Company Contract. They were now accidentally “free” of their original obligations. hmmmmm
Another little known fact is this: during the two years before their accidental landing, small pox had literally wiped out almost all of the Indians on that very piece of Massachusetts shoreline. (Interesting).
It was now nearing winter. The ship-weary pilgrims were sick from the journey. The only thing there to greet them when they did land was sand — and the coming snow. No buildings. No food. So, they begged the Mayflower to stay for the winter in order to provide them food and lodging. The Captain and crew were not happy, but they finally agreed to stay.
Many of these poor souls died within the months that followed. By the next fall, only about 53 of the original pilgrims remained. They were the ones present when they did finally gather together to give thanks to God who had brought them to a land they hadn’t planned on and that wasn’t too welcoming. An area that had been cleared out, however, and prepared for them, ahead of time, if you will.
As they were now legally outside of the geographical area that had been specifically outlined in their Company contract, they were unexpectedly finding themselves a people on their own. Free. Without a formal, written law. And that my friends…is how the Mayflower Compact came to be.
These settlers needed some form of government. Due to circumstances beyond their control, there were now completely on their own and rightfully in a position to create their own. And so…they did.
Interesting isn’t it? How delays, complications and unexpected diversions can, if we allow them, become the very blessings for which we end up giving thanks. They sometimes provide us with opportunities that we never anticipated, prepared for, or even saw coming.
As you journey through this holiday season, whatever you encounter, maybe this story will encourage you on your way…if anything, hey, maybe you learned sumthin’ new. 🙂
Just my thoughts,