All eyes are on her as she humbly walks up the grand steps up to the glittering stage and is greeted by the handsomely attired power-couple (whose names the press has somewhat cleverly hyphenated). They give her the award and it feels heavy and electric in her hands. She moves forward, chin ducked just a little, trying to take it all in- the lights, the applause, the fruition of years of work- all culminating here and now. She leans into the microphone and the crowd’s cheers respectfully come to a close. “Thank you” she says, not remembering how to begin the practiced speech. She pauses, smiles, and holds the award up, and points at a few people in the audience, as a silent acknowledgement to what they have done for her. Pausing once more, she begins again. “I’d like to thank…”
We’ve seen that awards ceremony on TV, time and time again. The speeches range from an exercise of polished words to minutes of stumbling through a haze of amazement, and from seemingly sincere to disingenuous. Many of the speeches acknowledge that co-workers, bosses, and family have helped them make it to this moment.
With this week being Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help visualize the variety of thanksgiving that is done in these and other settings, both secular and faith-focused, publically and privately. Giving thanks, true thanks from the heart, is always appropriate, not just on the one day our nation sets aside for giving thanks, but each and every day. Take a moment to consider how you give thanks. Do you recognize who it is that provides you with all that you have? Do you recognize that you didn’t get to where you are all by yourself?
My family has adopted a time of acknowledging our thanks around the Thanksgiving table. It is our custom to pray before meals, but during Thanksgiving we make a point of sharing a few words about those things of which we are specifically thankful. Together, we recognize that God is our Provider, and that he has generously given us each other, to love, care for, support, and encourage each other. It is a time to talk about being content with what God has provided throughout the year.
In the good times, in the difficult times, I am steadfastly sure that God is there in the midst of things, whether he is rescuing, protecting, comforting, or binding up our wounds. I am thankful in all these circumstances. I am thankful, for my family, my family in faith, my friends, old and new, near and far. Also, I am thankful that God not only works in my life, but in theirs as well. I hope this week is full of joy for you all, and that you can find plenty of things of which you are thankful.
“I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21).
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18)