It was once reported that every word Rudyard Kipling wrote was worth twenty-five shillings. Upon reading this report, a group of college students wrote Kipling a letter saying, “We understand that every word you write is worth twenty-five shillings. Enclosed is twenty-five shillings; send us your best word.” A couple of days later, the students received a telegram from Mr. Kipling. The telegram consisted of one word. That one word, his best word, was “Thanks!” That one word may well be the best there is in any language. Gratitude and thankfulness are the most precious gifts we can have.
For that past couple of weeks many of my friends have been making daily entries on their Facebook pages listing something that they are grateful for. I’m not sure, but I think that they are doing this for the thirty days leading up to Thanksgiving. So far, the listings have been pretty predictable: spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, church families, etc. – pretty much the sort of things one would expect. As I watch the postings, they make me wonder about a couple of things. First, I wonder how one blessing takes such a priority that it makes it to the list for that day. Second, I wonder how the list will read as the lists get into the “short rows.” Thirdly, I wonder if the posters take the time for this sort of Spiritual discipline the other 335 days of the year. At any rate, I am enjoying reading these postings and they do remind me of all the things that I have to be thankful for.
Every time I hear words such as: thanksgiving, gratitude, blessings, gifts, or grace, I think about the old hymn, Count Your Blessings. How can you really count all of your blessings? Where do you start? You see, at least for me, blessings take on many forms. One might be something that I truly feel that I have earned, while another might be an unmerited gift. Another might be material or physical, while another might be something indescribable in human terms. Some might be necessities, while others are simply “the extras.”
Were it not for God’s goodness, none of the blessings would be possible. From having a loving family to being able to eat a good cheeseburger; to having a pillow to lay my head on at night to knowing I work with wonderful people; from drinking clean water every day to knowing that I have always had the opportunity to learn and grow intellectually; from living a pretty doggone good life thus far to having the confidence that there is an even better one coming my way. The list is never ending – each new day brings a new set of blessings. It is sort of like one theologian said, “You never stand in the same river twice.” I awaken each day knowing that there are blessings before me and opportunities abounding – all for the taking! Yes, there may be some rough ground to cover, but God seems to have a way of smoothing even the roughest roads. It’s like God never tires of pouring his goodness on me. How could I make such a list – where would I begin and where would it end? I just don’t know if I can do God justice by trying to pick out just one a day.
Thank you God for it all… Praise God from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.. Amen.
Mike Davis~Pinson Memorial United Methodist Church