We have a lot to be thankful for.” You usually hear people say that after they’ve been in a car crash, their house has been swallowed by a sinkhole and their cat is on dialysis.
You try to show them pity, but they express gratitude that they are still alive, that they still have their loved ones, and that obscure Medicare rules are paying the cat’s veterinary bills.
I guess it’s true. We do have a lot to be thankful for. Here’s a short list:
People who visit folk in the hospital.
The hospital is not a fun place to pass the time. Maybe that’s why people who labour at a hospital are paid vastly more than people who work at a petting zoo.
Hospitals also suffer from an interior design philosophy that is best stated as a question: How can we make it easy to clean up blood? This means patients’ rooms generally have all the warmth and character of a utility sink.
So I have a special appreciation for those who volunteer to visit patients.
They arrive knowing there probably will be no place to sit and the conversation will include details of bodily functions that will haunt them through their next two meals. But they come anyway. God bless them.
Because they make nice decorative accessories for trees and they eat bugs.
The spare change dish.
Taking a coin from that little dish can prevent a flood of change after making a purchase.
And leaving a coin or two for the next guy—why, that’s a true act of Christian charity. I’m not saying it’s the same as being a missionary to lepers, but it’s still appreciated.
Ha! Just kidding.
The nail clipper was invented in 1896. What did people do before then? Did you have to chip off the end of your nails with sharp rocks? Was chewing your fingernails less of a bad habit and more of a commitment to personal hygiene?
The introduction of antibiotics has added an average of 10 years to our lives. We men are all deeply indebted to medical science for giving us more time to lose hair and complain about the government.
Some people have the goal of not spilling food on themselves.
Contrast that with the goal of a guy called Jimbo. He wants to give people free access to the “sum of human knowledge.” Today his online encyclopaedia lets you access more than one million articles written entirely by volunteers.
Did you know that Icelandic phone books list people by their first names? Well, now you do.
We give God thanks before every meal. But every once in a while we should give thanks for the comfort of tennis shoes. Things could have been different. One little twist of history, and the Dutch could have achieved world domination. Then we would all be limping down the supermarket aisles in wooden shoes.
Perhaps making a list of things we are thankful for is the wrong approach.
The apostle Paul seemed to think a Christian should give thanks in all circumstances (which is the kind of talk you might expect from someone who never raised teenagers). His idea may have been that a grateful heart can rise to meet every circumstance.
I guess if you are thankful for everything, you definitely have a lot to be thankful for.