As we approach Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share with you this thought-provoking piece about being grateful from an American Profile article by Nancy Henderson. In it, Leah Dieterich expresses a different idea for expressing gratitude. “As a teen, she hated it when her mom nagged her to write thank-you notes. But as an adult, she noticed that when she felt grateful, she felt more at peace. So she started scribbling notes of gratitude to inanimate objects–$2 bills, the ocean, a headache– and saving them in a box.
“Dear air,” she wrote, “Thank you for smelling like cookies right now.” To a lip numbed by Novocain,” she wrote, “Thank you for not looking like what you feel like you look.”
When her longtime boyfriend moved to New York City, she started a thankfulness blog “as a way to hold on to some little thing that could make me feel good every day.”
Thanking a car or burnt toast is gratitude in the purist form, says Dietrich, 31, an advertising copy writer in Los Angeles and author of “thxthxthx: thank goodness for everything”.
“Sometimes when you write a thank-you note you are thinking about how that person’s gonna feel. It’s different when you’re thanking an inanimate object because you know it’s not going to thank you back,” she says.
Still, in this era of emails and tweets, nothing compares to a handwritten note from a real person to a real person. It’s not just a sign of good etiquette; it is a way to bond.
‘A handwritten note gives you greater focus on the other person,” says writer John Kralik, author of 365 Thank yous, who has penned thank-you letters to more than 700 people during the last four years. “It’s almost like a piece of you is in the room with them when they read it.”
I really like both of these ideas for expressing gratitude. I think being intentional in thanking both the inanimate and the animate is really a way of thanking God who made them all. It’s so easy to take things for granted. Giving thanks to each piece or person that makes up life is a way to celebrate and be aware of the many, many blessings God has given us.
I wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving filled with gratitude. I hope you’ll be present in worship on this upcoming Thanksgiving Sunday and share in the potluck afterward with your church family.
God Bless You,
Pastor Candyclick here to download this week's bulletin!