What prompts us to say ‘Thank you’?

 

First… it’s time for the announcement as promised on Friday!

I put the Random Number Generator to work, and it has selected Comment #7, which, when I eliminate Denise’s comment, mine and Shari’s, turns out to be Laura Best’s. Congratulations, Laura! If you’ll e-mail your postal address to caroljgarvin[at]gmail[dot]com, I’ll send you the signed copy of Denise’s NEVER ENOUGH.

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It’s Thanksgiving Day here in Canada.

I doubt there is a child alive who hasn’t been admonished by a parent more than once to “Say thank you.” After all, it’s good manners. We’re meant to show appreciation for a gift received, a kindness shown, or a favour given.

So when Thanksgiving arrives, many of us have been brainwashed into our responses: “Thank you for all my blessings.” But who are we thanking, and what specifically are those blessings? And a bigger question might be are we really all that thankful?

For millions in the developed world there is a sense of entitlement. We’ve worked hard — or perhaps our parents did — to earn what we have. Whether we share a crowded room or live in a mansion, there is a belief that we have a right to that roof over our heads. We anticipate at least one square meal a day, too, and clothing to keep our bodies covered and warm. Some of us live in abundance (my fingers tremble a bit here as I compose this on one of our three computers). We take a lot for granted… unless it’s all taken away from us.

Unless we return home from an evening with friends and find nothing but rubble left — unless serious illness happens, or accident, job loss or some other calamity leaps out of nowhere and strips us of everything that we’ve always had — until then we don’t think a lot about what constitutes our style of living, do we?

Instead we mutter about Monday mornings, moan about the chores, and mumble about getting started on our Christmas shopping.

In Jesus’ day leprosy was a big deal — a horrible, highly contagious and incurable illness that resulted in the afflicted being banished into isolated communities. So when ten lepers were healed by Jesus, it was as if they had been raised from the living-dead.

“One of them [the lepers], when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough.”

Luke 17:15-16 (Msg)

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Were the other nine not overjoyed, too? I’m sure they were. I imagine they marvelled at their unblemished skin and hurried on to be reunited with their friends and families and rejoice together. I don’t doubt they were thankful, but only one took the time to acknowledge the source of the miracle and return to say ‘thank you’.

So I’m back to my earlier questions. What prompts us to say ‘thank you’ today? Is it an automated, conditioned response, or do we really know who are we thanking, why, and specifically for what? Do we offer cursory appreciation before digging into the turkey, or do we kneel at His feet, so grateful for the new lives He’s given us that we can never thank Him enough?

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To each of you, my thanks for your precious cyber friendship and support.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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Photo by think4photop
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2 thoughts on “What prompts us to say ‘Thank you’?

  1. joylene says:

    Excellent question, especially since my answer has surprised me. I sometimes feel like that leper, but also embarrassed by my gratitude. Not to God, but to someone who does something unexpected. I feel embarrassed after seeing their response. They may frown or look surprised, and immediately I’m wondering why do I feel so grateful to the point I’m almost in tears?

    Wow, you’ve got me thinking, Carol. I’ll probably spend the rest of the day trying to figure this out.

    Happy Thanksgiving for so many things, for the wonderful posts you write, for the spectacular photographs, for marrying such a sweet guy, and for being so calm, honest, and wise.

  2. Darlene says:

    I am truly thankful for the love that surrounds me as my ankle heals. There will be no Thnaksgiving turkey this year but that’s Ok as there si so much to be thankful for.

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