“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17
It is good to give thanks. Giving thanks most often is as simple as saying thank you. It is not something just for the month of November as we turn our thoughts to Thanksgiving with all the turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie. It should be a year around discipline of simply saying thank you to others. It makes a difference each time you do it with sincerity and care.
This past Monday I watched as the Temple Education Foundation had their recognition of the top seniors from Temple High School. As the students were honored, so were their teachers. Each student was to write a letter to a teacher that had made an impact on their life. As the student walked forward to receive their certificate, the letter they had written was then handed to their teacher standing by their side. I don’t know what was in each of those letters, but I do know what was in two of them.
Kylie wrote a letter of thanks to Mrs. Julie Popelka at Bonham Middle School. Mrs. Popelka influenced both the girls as they transitioned from their school in Plano to Temple. She nurtured Kylie with a job shelving books and sharing a listening ear during those middle school challenges. Rachel wrote a letter to Laurie Sims. Laurie teaches first grade at Kennedy-Powell Elementary School. If you know my girls, you know they didn’t attend an elementary school in Temple. But Rachel has been influenced by her nonetheless. Laurie has been a part of our lives for the past six plus years as we have served in Temple. She has shared many meals with us and regaled us with stories from teaching through the years. She’s even come and taken caterpillars from my parsley for her class. In the words of Rachel, if she could have picked her teacher at that time in her life, Laurie Sims would have been it!
I sat and watched those students and teachers pass by me on Monday evening, many of them arm in arm. We are influenced by so many in our lives and we don’t tell each other thank you enough. Monday was a night to celebrate and honor those who continue to serve and teach so faithfully in our school system. Monday was also a night to say to some awesome teachers, thank you. Knowing teachers like I do, sometimes all it takes to make their day complete is a heartfelt thank you.
I had this blog in mind this morning but didn’t have time to compose it before I went home for lunch. I was thinking about it as I drove up to the house and stopped to get the mail. To my surprise there was a note in the mailbox addressed to me. It was a thank you note sent by one who is a part of my life and ministry. They simply said thank you for something that I do so often and so naturally. But it was a moment for me to realize that what we do for one another, even the small things, can make a difference in someone’s life. And the power of a thank you makes a huge difference to me today.
I believe if we rarely say thank you to one another, we will even more rarely say thank you to our Lord Jesus. I also believe saying thanks is a part of the essence of who we are as Christians. Worship is part of saying thank you. Worship is a time to demonstrate our heart of gratitude to the One who gave us His sacrificial love. There is power in a heart of thanks. There is power in saying thank you.
Who can you say thank you to today?