Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saying "Thanks!"

"Thank you!" Two little words that go a very long way. They say far more than we can ever imagine.

First, they point out that we noticed someone outside ourselves. We don't go around saying "Thank me." No, "Thank you" points to the outside, which is a very good thing. In our busy-mess of life, we become all too focused on ourselves... what we don't have, what we need to do, what we want, what we need. "Thank you" is a wonderful way to remember we're not in this business of life alone.

Second, these words indicate that we have a debt of gratitude to that someone-outside-ourselves. The etymology of the word thank relates it to an Old English noun that means "good thought; gratitude." Somehow these sweet people have met a need in our lives and we are grateful.

In this week of Thanksgiving, reflect on the people who bring good thoughts of gratitude to mind for you. Take a minute to thank someone-outside-yourself specifically for how he or she blesses your life.

Here are just a few ideas of people you can thank as you go through your day.

* the cashier at the very busy Thanksgiving eve grocery store
* your husband who leaves home daily to provide for the family
* your child who unexpectedly gives you a hug or a smile
* your parents who love you
* your friend who is always at the other end of a phone call or text
* your neighbor who doesn't complain when the lawn isn't mowed right away
* your Bible study leaders, small group and lecture, who prepare to shepherd and teach you
* your pastor's wife who encourages you
* your children's teachers who plan lessons and crafts week after week
* your teenagers' coaches who pour their time and energy into helping them grow as athletes and people
* the postal carrier who brings the mail day in and day out
* the buddy whose blog makes you laugh out loud
* the encourager who refuses to let you sink into self-pity
* the driver who yields so that you can go somewhere in a hurry
* the women in Moms In Touch for your school who pray for your children as well as their own
* the stranger who holds open the door for you at an office or school or store
* the first responders in your local fire or police station who keep watch over your safety
* the IT people who keep your computer network functioning day in and day out
* the server who brings your meal
* the stylist who cuts your hair just like you like it
* the military families whose sacrifices make our freedom possible
* the one who takes the time to say "Thank you" for whatever reason. It's always a blessing to be appreciated.

And of course...

Thank the One Who lay down all of heaven and wrapped Himself in human form to pay the price for you to know His Father and live with Him forever and ever.

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you...have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Philemon 4-7