By Carl Stagner
In 1985, Laura Numeroff wrote a book that would become a modern children’s classic. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie soon led to numerous children’s books that filled in the blanks of a variety of “if-then” statements. For example, “if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.” I’ve discovered the same theme in my daily life.
If I didn’t get enough sleep, then I’m going to find myself fighting fatigue through the day. If I’m a big fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team (and I am), then I’m probably going to tune in to as many broadcasts of the games as I can (and I might stay up too late!). If you give me a bag of tortilla chips, I’m going to ask for a bowl of hot salsa. That’s just how it works.
As a child, I remember it well: the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Yes, a couple extra days off school! A smorgasbord of fine foods! Fun with the cousins! I couldn’t wait. But if ever things didn’t go according to tradition, or my plans fell through, I was crushed. I lost my joy. I really wasn’t all that thankful.
Because, if you’re thankful, you respond differently. It’s a natural overflow. Like the Geico insurance commercials, “it’s what you do.” If you want to save money on car insurance, they say, you switch to Geico. If you’re thankful, you show it in your attitude and your actions. It’s what you do.
In Luke 17:11–19, Jesus cleanses ten lepers. They’d cried out to him, begging for mercy. As was the practice, they left to show themselves clean before the priests. But one turned back, falling on his face before the Lord, offering thanks and praise. Jesus responded, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?”
This Thanksgiving, if you’re thankful, show it. Live it. You’ll find, as I have, that self-interests and materialism fade, appreciation for what you have grows, and the joy for the journey returns.
Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.