In two days, many in our country will be celebrating our National day of Thanksgiving. This is a good opportunity not only to count our blessings, but to remember the people who have helped us along the way. These are people to whom, we are indebted. Often times, these are intangible debts, but they are sometimes owed to people we do not know. Debts larger than life can be paid in the currency of gratitude, which in some ways; is a very difficult emotion to express. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians encourages us to give thanks not for physical, material, and tangible things. Instead Paul gives constant thanks for things that are not things; like faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. To give thanks for the non-tangibles is to give thanks in the vortex of violence, despair and suffering. This is what the scriptures call praise, and praise is the recognition that it is all about God and not about us.
Many years ago, it was reported that Rudyard Kipling, a popular writer, received ten shillings (about 2 US dollars) for every word he wrote. That was a lot of money back then. A student from Oxford University sent Kipling ten shillings in the mail with this request, “Please send us one of your very best words.” Kipling cabled back to the students this one word message, “THANKS.”
Thanks was one of the very best words then, and it is still one of the very best words today!