This weekend we took time as a church community to thank God for His blessing and favour, especially over the last 8 years in which we have been working towards our Vision 2010 statement. We want to be like the Samaritan leper who took time to return to Jesus and express his gratitude for the healing he received (Luke 17:11-18), not like the nine, who were obviously pleased to be healed, but who took no time to thank Jesus.
Here are a few random thoughts and quotes on the power of gratitude:
- There is an old story about two angels who were sent to earth to gather up the prayers of people. One was to fill his basket with the prayer requests that people offered up. The other was to collect the prayers of thanksgiving. Sometime later they went back to heaven to the Father. One had a basket heaped high and running over – with the innumerable prayers requests they had heard. The other returned with a sad and heavy heart for his basket was almost empty. The prayers of thanks were quite rare, even thought the angel searched diligently.No doubt we are better at the asking than at the thanking!
- “One of the deepest human needs is the need to be appreciated.” [William James, American psychologist]
- “I can live for two months on a good compliment!” [Mark Twain]
- “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” [King Lear - Shakespeare]
- The Library of Congress was once sent a book to copyright by a Texan businessman called A Million Thanks. It contained the word “thanks” repeated a million times and he intended on giving it to his customers and friends. “No thanks” replied the Library, declining to register it because a single word is NOT copyrightable!
- "Insufficient appreciation and savoring of the good events in your past and over-emphasis of the bad ones are the two culprits that undermine serenity, contentment, and satisfaction.” [Martin Seligman, psychologist and author of Authentic Happiness]
- “If you want to find gratitude, look for it in the dictionary!” [Unknown]
- Scottish pastor Dr Alexander Whyte was famous for his pulpit prayers, always finding something to thank God for, even in bad times. One stormy morning, church members thought that he would have nothing to thank God for on such a wretched morning. But Whyte began his prayer, “We thank The Oh God, that it is not always like this!”
- Matthew Henry, a famous Bible scholar was attached on the street by thieves and his wallet was taken. He wrote these words in his diary: “Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my wallet that did not take my life; third, because although they took my wallet, there was not much in there, and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
- “Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while other praise Him for putting roses among thorns.” [Unknown]