My weakened kidneys are susceptible to infection and I like to get things over with all at one, so two weeks I decided to have four different serious infections at once. Well, I guess I should admit I didn’t seem to have much choice in the matter.
It is a helpless feeling, one which for some people is extremely maddening. It was not pleasant for me, of course, yet there was a certain familiarity to it. Not just have I spent more than a little time in a hospital in these past years but I’ve spend my whole adult life saying, “Please Lord” and “Thank You, Lord.”
Such words, seemingly so innocuous and merely courteous, are powerful They affect not only those to whom we speak but they transform us by shaping our life toward the deeper truths.. Saying please reminds us that no one — not even the Creator — owes us anything. As that thought begins to permeate into head and heart, we come to understand that we live by grace, that everything is a sheer gift to us.
And that in turn leads us to thanksgiving. If we receive all of life as a gift, we find ourselves saying a great many times each day, Thank You.
A friend of mine some years ago was talking with a college student what seemed to have everything going for her. Highly intelligent, Phi Beta Kappa, good looking, outgoing, enjoyed and respected by all her knew her. My friend was actually a bit overwhelmed by this wonderful young woman. Than my friend asked her, “Do you ever wish you had someone to thank for all this?”
And the girl broke down an wept. She felt she was no different from anyone else but everybody kept telling her how special she was. Everyone liked her but no one wanted to be her friend, apparently because they couldn’t believe she would want them. And she knew that someday or another she was going to make a mess of things and then get tossed out of everyone’s life. All her gifts added up to a burdensome responsibility
She would love to have said Thank You but she had no one to thank. She would love to believe that her gifts were real and not on the verge of disappearing.
So the two of them sat on that campus bench and talked for a long, long time about the love and grace of God. And at the end she said Thank You.