What are you thankful for? Wait – why am I asking this now? Yes, Thanksgiving Day is still more than eight months away (thank goodness!) But if we take the admonition from 1 Thessalonians 5:18 seriously, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” that also implies we’re to give thanks all the time.
It’s good to have a national, annual observance dedicated for giving thanks, but what’s wrong with feeling and expressing thanks for things today, tomorrow, and next week?
Assuming you’re not in disagreement with me, what are you thankful for? We have the easy stuff that comes immediately to mind – our families, jobs (if we have one), health (if we have that), material possessions, freedoms we enjoy. But how about scratching a bit below the obvious?
As I’m writing this, the garbage truck just came by to haul away our trash. So, I’m thankful for the garbage men, even though I don’t know their names. I’m thankful too for the cashier and grocery clerk who checked out my groceries, put them in sacks – and took my money to pay for it.
I’m thankful for the power company workers who, even in the midst of severe storms, jump into bucket trucks or climb poles to restore electricity to my home when it’s lost. I’m thankful for law enforcement officers who daily engage in one of life’s most hazardous professions, knowing that if I ever need them, they’re ready to respond. I’m also thankful for EMTs and paramedics, nurses, physicians and surgeons who also are poised to respond whenever any of us would require urgent medical attention.
We rarely think about the thousands of military personnel who serve many miles away in areas where they’re constantly in harm’s way. But I’m thankful for them, knowing they’re underpaid, under-appreciated, and when they return home, too easily ignored or forgotten.
I try to remind myself to be thankful for dedicated teachers who strive hard to teach young people who come from homes where they’re not taught discipline, or seem surgically attached to their smart phones, and show little interest in learning. For men and women who respond to God’s call to enter mission fields, not only in distant lands immersed in unfamiliar languages and cultures, but also in impoverished, crime-infested areas right here in the United States. And for those public servants whose desire is to genuinely serve those who have elected them, not the power brokers that curry their favor.
I’m also thankful for sunrises and sunsets, especially the brilliantly hued ones that seem created directly from God’s heavenly palette; the beauties of His creation in its infinite array; the giggle of an infant, the first steps of a toddler, and the satisfied smile of a child who’s just learned something new.
It would be easy to say we’re thankful for the wonderful advances of technology, and no doubt we are. But too often we overlook being thankful for things we easily take for granted, like the enticing aromas of bacon and coffee at breakfast time, the timely phone call from a friend, and the Bible.
No doubt you can think of much more for which to feel thankful. Whatever those things are, isn’t today – even right now – a good time for doing what Psalm 100:4 urges us to do? “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise, give thanks to him and praise his name.”
After all, as we’re reminded elsewhere, “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). And be thankful.
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.