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"Giving Thanks" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

I was having lunch in a local establishment the other day. A young kid and his family came in and sat nearby. When their food arrived, the first thing the young boy did was to quietly bow his head and return thanks in his own heart, in his own way. He did this all alone with no prompting or urging from anyone around him. He did not even know that I saw. But I did. And what that kid did that day really spoke to me. He took the time to remember the Giver. He took the time to say thanks to the One who provides.

The French writer Balzac once said, "Gratitude is a useless word. You will find it in the dictionary, but not in life." I'm afraid that is often a true statement. The New Testament tells us that one day Jesus healed ten people with the dreaded disease of leprosy. He was obviously disappointed when only one returned to say thanks. It causes me pain when I realize that sometimes I am like one of those nine healed lepers . . . gladly receiving the gift, but forgetting to show gratitude to the Giver.

Maybe this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving we can begin to make things different. In the midst of shopping,football, food and friends, it is my prayer that we will learn once again the good habit of showing gratitude to those around us for the simple courtesies of life. It’s my prayer that we will be very serious about showing our gratitude and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for all the blessings of life that we so often take for granted. And not just for Thanksgiving Day, but all of our lives.

I am thankful today for a young kid who spoke to me by having the courage to bow his head in public to say thank you to God. Perhaps that be a lesson to all of us. Happy Thanksgiving!

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