The Shepherd Calls


Giving Thanks
Two good friends visited us yesterday. I was their pastor for seventeen years. They traveled six hours to visit us. We reminisced, and they reminded me of incidents I had forgotten. In previous columns, I have mentioned how some professionals can point to their accomplishments---an architect to buildings, a surgeon to healthy patients, etc. Pastors, however, often come to the end of their ministry wondering if they made any difference. The conversation with our visitors yesterday was reassuring. I am thanking God for them and for their visit.
We are about to celebrate a national holiday, Thanksgiving Day. America is not a perfect country, and we seem bent on emphasizing our imperfections. Still, I am thankful my country is sensitive enough to declare a day of national thanksgiving. On that day, much of our country will sit at tables fit for royalty. We will rightfully give thanks for our food, our family, and other blessings.
As you crunch your dinner, please crunch your memory. Is there someone you could bless with a note of thanks? There is still time to write a note. Handwritten notes require personal involvement that is special today. The second best would be to send a text or email; and if you get caught at the last minute, you can still make a phone call.
Of course, if you suspect someone is in need, the best thanks would be to find a way to help. I have three people to whom I have sent a check for them to buy their Thanksgiving turkey. Trust me when I say, not only will this surprise and bless them; but most of all, it will bless me.
I planned to end this column with scriptural instructions for giving thanks. However, I assume you know those. Instead, let me give you some thanksgiving quotes from everyday folks:
· The best thanks is to live thankfully.
· Never let what you want blind you to what you have.
· Be thankful, and you will have more.
· Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
· When giving thanks, deeds are better than words.