Thank You, God, for Our Inventive Ancestors

On Thanksgiving Day we usually thank God for our blessings: family, friends, faith, good health, freedom, food, shelter, natural resources, etc. And this is a good thing to do.

But this year I want to thank God for those individuals throughout human history whose inventions, ideas, and discoveries made human history possible—and made our lives better, safer, and richer. I am referring to those early ancestors of ours whose names are not ordinarily found in history books. In some cases their inventions, ideas, or discoveries cannot even be attributed to a particular person. Various ancestors in various parts of the world probably came up with these things. Regardless, let us take a moment to thank these ancestors  for their creativity, daring, and vision. And let us use all the things they bequeathed to us in the spirit of gratitude.

Thank you, God, for Our Inventive Ancestors.

Thank you, God, for our inventive ancestors. Thank you for the person who:


+ planted the first seeds

+ invented the wheel

+ made the first “staircase”

+ fashioned the first tool

+ constructed the first shelter

+ made the first boat

+ formed the first clay pot

Thank you, God, for the person who:

+ sang the first song

+ danced the first dance

+ tamed fire for warmth and cookingcamp fire

+ drew the first picture on a cave wall

+ discovered pigments

+ invented the drum, the lute, the lyre

+ told the first story

+ wrote down the first word

+ domesticated the first dog

+ rode the first horse, camel, or donkey

+ discovered cinnamonancient map

+ discovered salt

+ drew the first map

+ made the first calendar

+ built the first road

+ made the first twisted rope


+ milked the first cow or goat

Thank you, God, for the person who:

+ invented the comb

+ gave the stars names

+ determined which foods we could eat and which ones we could not eat

+ wove the first piece of cloth

+ invented the needle

+ made the first button and button hole

+ told the first jokebasket

+ taught the first group of children

+ uttered the first prayer

+ wove the first basket


On this Thanksgiving Day we say “thank you, God” for all these individuals. And we pray that we human beings living today may, like our earliest ancestors, be creative, daring, and wise in all our efforts to make our world a better place in which to live. Amen.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Which of the inventions, discoveries, or ideas listed in the prayer above are you particularly grateful for today?

Are there things you would add to the list?

PS: Next week’s reflection will be posted on Sunday, December 1, the first Sunday of Advent.

No Comments

  1. Kathleen Magiera on November 25, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Tamed the first dog is my favorite Sr. Melannie! Our dog is like a member of our family and brings such joy to us each day.

    Happy Thanksgiving! God bless.


  2. Amy on November 25, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I love all of them~ song, dance& prayer especially. I’m also grateful for the persons who stretched into the first yoga poses and gave them names. Oh, that first downward dog! And to all who’ve passed on and taught all if our sacred practices, all those who’ve dared follow the Spirit’s moving in their lives. Many blessings to you. Thanks for this post!

  3. Rose on November 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I especially like “told the first joke”
    Thank you God for the those who brought safe medicines and medical practices into humanity especially for safer childbirths, and better knowledge and treatments for mental and physical disabilities.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Mary Schneider on November 25, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Special thanks God for Sr Melannie!!!!

  5. Annie on November 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    and for the ones who discovered and improved dark chocolate! 🙂

  6. Joanne on November 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Hello Sister, As a retired secretary, I immediately thought of the paperclip. How would we organize our paper lives without it and the staple.

    God is good…all the time.

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