Monday, November 20, 2006

Give Thanks Where Thanks Is Due

For those of us in the United States, we are just a few days from Thanksgiving Day. So, I thought it would be a good time to, you know, be thankful and stuff.

So this week I'm going to talk about things I'm thankful for...even those things that aren't easy to be thankful about. But before I begin, I was thinking about the act of being thankful, and how it requires that there is a receiving end. I mean, what point is there in thankfulness if there is no one to thank.

I might say that I'm thankful for having a house. But really, what did the house have to do with anything? It isn't really about the house. It is about all the opportunities I had growing up where I learned, got a good education, eventually a job and income to pay for the house. It is about all the people who buy cars who need the parts that my company makes, which gives me a job.

I might say I'm thankful for my wife. But what that really means is I'm thankful for all the effort my wife puts into being my wife, for loving me, loving my children, even when I'm acting like a doofus. It means I'm thankful for the parents who raised her to become the person she is today, as well as all the other people who helped shape her.

I might say I'm thankful for living in this great, free nation. But that means I'm thankful for the men and women who died to not only protect this country, but for the men and women who didn't die, as well as those who had the intelligence and vision to draft our constitution, etc.

I could say I'm thankful for my diabetes, because my life has grown out of that part of me. I am who I am because of a disease. But the disease isn't something worthy of thankfulness. And perhaps I'm not thankful for the disease at all, but to a God who helped me to grow strong in the adversity that diabetes brought me.

I guess the point is to give credit where credit where credit is due. Give thanks where thanks is due. Think about the things, people, and circumstances you are thankful for...but don't leave it there. Think about those who made those things, people, and circumstances possible.

I'll have more thanks to share tomorrow.


Minnesota Nice said...

Ryan, that was very nice - just the sentiments to cause me to pause a moment after getting home from work and already feeling trapped in th frenzy.

Bernard said...

Thanks Ryan for expressing how to think about thanks differently.

This is a great read.