“Why did the others forget to say thank you when someone did something nice for them?” The innocence of the question, posed by a kindergartener one recent Sunday morning, struck me the most. It’s as simple as that, right? Say “thank you!” How is it that so many times we forget?
We have been talking about gratitude in The ‘Burbs the last few weeks. It’s a great month to think about all that we have been given and all that we should be so grateful for. One particular story in Luke 17, which was shared with the children this past Sunday, made me really start to examine my own attitude.
This story is about ten lepers who begged Jesus to heal them. He sent them to the priest, and as they were walking, they were completely and totally healed of their debilitating disease. Amazing! What a testimony to be grateful for. You would think that if you or I had been healed so miraculously that we would turn on our heels immediately and throw our grateful praises at the feet of the Healer. But that wasn’t the case in this story. Out of the 10 men who were healed, only one returned to Jesus to say “thank you.” Only one…Can you imagine someone doing something so incredibly, profoundly unfathomable for us, and we, in our haste to start living our lives, forget to give thanks to the one who saved us from our disease?
I imagine that as the ten men were walking to the priest, the scales on their skin began to fall to the ground, the itchy cracks on the surface of their arms and legs began to fill in and smooth, and the stench of sickness became a fragrant offering of hope and new life. When I began to ponder this story, I thought to myself, do I do this? Do I forget to say thank you? I myself have been healed of the sickness of sin and guilt, the cracks of my life have been smoothed and filled by the healing balm of the Savior, and the stench of death has been given over to the fragrance of hope and eternal life.
How many times a day do I concentrate on myself and the things I don’t have or the things I want to do or get, that I forget to go back to the giver of all and say thank you? You see, the men in the story were so wrapped up in the life that was ahead of them that they forgot the giver of that life. When we are so focused on ourselves and the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we forget that when someone does something nice for you, you’re supposed to say thank you. I want to remember every day to be the one — the one who says thank you to the Father who has given us everything. Being thankful is the formula that leads to contentment, peace, and continual relationship with the Giver.
— Brittany Leazer, Children’s Worship Leader