I saw a great idea for a gift the other day, a Thank You journal. Now before you say anything the venture is in aid of the Hospice movement who do such outstanding work in the care of the terminally ill and each year they come up with a creative fund raising venture to tie in with the Christmas spending spree. The Journal has a few ‘celebrity’ entries to get the ball rolling and the idea is a simple one, to record the everyday things for which we may be grateful. I think it’s a great idea even if the thought of saying ‘thanks’ seems a bit hollow when not addressed to anyone in particular, so I’d suggest for believers the ‘thank you’ would be addressed to God, the giver of every good gift. Sometimes saying ‘thanks’ is the hardest thing as when Jesus healed the ten lepers and only one returned to thank Him. The Bible is full of examples of being thankful in both the New and Old Testaments , “ Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift” ( 2 Corinthians 9: 15) and "Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men."(Psalm 107:8 ). In fact the practise of ‘thanksgiving’ is mentioned as the antidote to worry and stress by Paul the Apostle when he advised, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God."(Philippians 4:6 ). There is what I’ll call the ‘sublime’ thanksgiving for the marvellous aspects of God’s dealings with us and then there is the more ‘prosaic’ thanks we should remember for those little blessings which sometimes creep right by us without our notice. It’s the little blessings I’d like to concentrate on in my efforts here to create my very own ‘Thank You’ journal…so here goes…
Thank you Lord for…
A friend calling my name to join them in walking to town.
The healing effect of a live music gig.
The soothing effect of Manuka honey on a sore throat.
For meeting an old friend after many years.
Walking through the brilliantly coloured autumnal leaves.
Getting through a long day at work.
Being inside in front of the fire waiting for the storm.
The thrill of flicking through ‘Soundings’ (my Poetry book from school) after 35 years.
Seeing the Shannon at high tide.
Author Sheila Flanagan launches the Hospice fundraiser.
You can find out more about the Irish Hospice Foundation’s ‘The Thank You Book’ here,