From: T.M Schoewe
We are approaching another national thanksgiving. Look around the world, particularly in the Middle East and in parts of Africa, where people are killing one another and struggling for freedom. The problems our own nation faces pale in comparison and though they might not be as significant, they require our attention as a free people. Indeed there is much for which we have to be thankful as a nation. And so we need to observe Thanksgiving Day this Thursday.
Yet there is another thanksgiving we wish to call to your attention, thanksgiving to God and to one another
The idea or notion that everything good in our lives was or is given to us by a gracious God is correct, but it has to be shown or revealed to us. And unless we acknowledge that this critical and important information or knowledge about from whence all good things come is revealed to us through the Bible and shown to us by the one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who is at the heart of all our blessings, we will live under the delusion or by the lie that we somehow are the ones responsible for our own well-being and that we, without the grace of God have made and achieved everything on our own, by ourselves; or what’s worse, that we are simply at the mercy of the gods of luck or fortune and everything is a matter of fate. Ooftah! So it is important to get it straight Who is in charge and Who it is we should be thankful to. And we should kneel and humbly acknowledge that fact every day...at least once.
And to the matter of thanking one another, we mean simply what we say, “thanking one another.” But there is this problem we face. All of us are born with a deficit. Have you heard of Gratitude Deficit Disorder (GDD)? Well, now you have! We’re all born with it! Bear in mind that learning to say “thank you” to other people is also a learned behavior. If you are parents you quickly have found out that ingratitude is in your children, it comes naturally, and you have to work hard to show them to have appreciation. You have to make them write a thank you note or call their grandparents for birthday gifts. And we grown ups can be just takers also! And so we might find we are not totally healed of this disorder.
Now then, there are some beautiful letters by old St. Paul which are great models for GDD therapy. Paul’s opening words are usually full of praise and thanks to God. But always the final sentences carry a heartfelt word of appreciation to the people whose sacrifices or hard work and interest made possible a community of faith. As an example in Romans 16: 3-4 “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”
Questions? Where and to whom then do we give our thanks? Going to church, singing “Come ye thankful people come…” and listening to the Pastors list of prayers; maybe giving $100 to the church or world service or giving some groceries to a poor neighbor? Or do we just look around and note how better off we are compared to many who are starving and trying to survive floods and earthquakes and all the tornadoes that touched down last Sunday? So you say “thank God,” we are better off! But this doesn’t get us off the hook.
How many people have you really thanked this past week? How about today? Does your wife or your husband feel appreciated? Do people you work with ever hear some praise from you?
Let’s all really get caught up in that old hymn mentioned above. Come, let’s do so as part of our national thanksgiving and think about how we can work on eliminating GDD this coming year.
In closing we wish to pay tribute to my wife Donna who is now with her Lord and who in her reclining days of this year would rise from the supper table after our giving thanks to the Lord and add “I am just thankful to be with you all here in our home!” She definitely did not suffer from GDD! Sine cera
P.S. Let’s try to wipe GDD off the face of the earth!