Thanksgiving 365

simon-maage-351417.jpgBe thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

When my wife and I first got married, I had this wild, romantic notion to keep a secret thankfulness journal for her. Here’s how it was supposed to work. Every day for a year I planned to write down one thing I loved about her. Then I would surprise her the next Christmas with a year’s worth of appreciation. I imagined when she opened it, she would swoon, kiss me and then cook me a really nice dinner.

Women love that kind of stuff, right?

So I went out one blustery January day, bought a pink, girly journal and began what I thought would be an easy way to score major points in my marriage.

The first week was awesome. On day eight, however, I had a slight problem. I ran out of material. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like my wife isn’t great, but after about seven days, I thought I had written it all down. I am a guy, after all. We’re not exactly wired for sensitivity and emotional intelligence.

My journal went something like this:

Day 1 – You’re pretty.

Day 2 – You’re nice.

Day 3 – You’re pretty nice.

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A Thanksgiving Mascot That Rocks!

Forget the pilgrims.  Forget the turkeys.  I’m nominating a new Thankgiving mascot.  The Good Samaritan!  No, not that guy.  The other good Samaritan.  You, know, the thankful one?  Hello? 

Oh c’mon, don’t tell me you’ve never heard of the other Good Samaritan.  Why does that first guy get all the good press?  Just because he gave some poor sucker a donkey ride to the ER?  Forget that joker.  Let’s talk about the real Good Samaritan, the guy who should become the new Grand Marshal of the Macy’s parade. 

So Jesus was walking down the road one day when these ten lepers start yelling at Him in a LOUD voice (remember the loud voice part – it’s important later), “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”  When he saw these guys, he felt sorry for them and told them go to town and show themselves to the priests.  Apparently, that was standard operating procedure when someone got cured.  Only thing is, they weren’t cured yet.  On the way, however, Jesus did His thing, and they were healed. 

Enter our hero, Mr. OGS (Other Good Samaritan).  When Mr. OGS saw he was healed, he broke off from the pack, made a quick u-turn and ran back to Jesus, praising God (wait for it, here it comes) in a LOUD voice.  He dropped to the ground and thanked Jesus. 

“What about the other guys?”  Jesus asks.  “Didn’t I heal them too?”  Then he told Mr. OGS to hit the road and go celebrate.  His faith had made him well. 

The Bible makes a big deal about the fact that this guy was a Samaritan, implying that at least some of the other men were Israelites, the insiders, the ones who should have known better when it came to gratitude to God. 

Okay, back to the loud voice.  I’m good at that when I need help, right?  “Jesus, Master, have pity on me!  Please help me with (insert your personal struggle here)”  Medicial, financial, relational, you name it.   I’ll take it straight to God in a LOUD voice. 

But what about afterwards?  What about when God comes through?  Uhh, yeah.  About that.  I’m afraid I’m not so loud then.  I’m afraid I’m like the nine and not like the one, the one who came back, the one who said thanks, the one who praised God in as loud of a voice as he used when begging for mercy. 

Me? Not so much.  But Mr. OGS?  Man, that guy IS Thanksgiving.   Even if they don’t make make him Grand Marshal, he ought to at least get a float, a balloon, something.

This Thankgsiving, let’s follow his lead.  How about we bust out the same urgency, the same the desperation, that we take to God in our trouble?  How about we get loud? 

Isn’t that what Thanksgiving’s all about?