Thank you. Those are some of the most meaningful words you can ever say.
Have you ever gone out of your way to do something for someone only for them to walk away without a single word? Perhaps you have thought to yourself, “He didn’t even say thank you.” I know that we are not supposed to do something for another in order to be recognized. But it sure does feel better when they say thanks.
We live in a time when people do not give thanks. In fact, many times we grumble and complain because we want more. We aren’t satisfied with what we have received, so we simply forget to give thanks.
It was Christmas Eve. We were opening gifts at my parents’ home. My oldest son was about 10 years old. When he opened the box his grandmother gave him, it was obviously a piece of clothing — bright red, with wide lapels and pleats. I will never forget the look on his face, or the words he said — “Oh, thank you, Granny. A suit.” — all the while looking very confused. My mother did a double take and then realized, to her horror, that she had put the wrong label on the box. My son had opened his mother’s dress. And he said, “Thank you.”
I watched my son graduate high school and college. I performed his wedding. I heard him proudly exclaim, “Dad, I got the job.” And before all of those events, I saw him hit home runs, make jump shots, and bring home good grades. I saw him play the part of the big bad wolf in “The Little Piggy Opera” in first grade. And I have played the part of the proud daddy.
But I have never been more proud than when he said thanks when he thought he was getting a bright-red suit for Christmas while his younger brother and three cousins were opening up toys. It was in that moment that I realized that we had been successful in teaching at least one life lesson: We had taught him to be grateful.
He has not changed much. In a recent conversation, he said to me, “Dad, I really am loving my life. I have a great wife, a great home, a great job. Life’s good.”
I messed up that day. I should have responded to him, “And I have a great son.” For that, and for so much else I am grateful. I need to remember to give thanks more often. So do you. God has been so good to us. Even when we are experiencing tough times, we must remember. God is good, and he is greatly to be praised.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend. The holiday itself has passed, but don’t forget to be thankful. Every day. And in every way. “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”