If you ever read “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, then you remember the fill in the blank thank you notes that Greg writes after receiving lots of presents. He decided that it would be easiest to write the same basic form of note to all of his relatives, only changing their names and a couple other details. Unfortunately, some of the notes came out a little awkward. For example:
“Dear Aunt Loretta, Thank you so much for the awesome pants! How did you know I wanted that for Christmas? I love the way the pants looks on my legs! All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own pants.”
Call me immature, but this part of the book makes me tickled inside and it makes me laugh out loud every time I think of it! Scratch that, the entire book makes me laugh out loud. Who hasn’t been guilty of doing some variation of this when we want to crank out several thank you notes in one sitting? (If you’re not guilty, please don’t judge me. I am sorry and am changing my ways.)
I can’t help but think of Luke 17 when Jesus heals ten men with leprosy. The Scripture points out that only one came back to say thank you, and that one was a Samaritan. Samaritans didn’t associate with Jewish people. Since Jesus was Jewish, it makes the Samaritan’s thank you even more significant. Jesus comments, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
Today I had a new insight on thank you notes. Thank you is polite and kind. Saying thank you is what people do if they have decent manners. But I think there’s something even deeper than that. “Thank you” and a thankful heart matters to Jesus. Today I practiced being deliberately thankful as I wrote several notes. I paused to think of the gift from the giver’s perspective and their intentionality in giving it. It actually felt great to do that and it made me realize how thankful I should be as a result. It was then that I actually felt grateful. Try it and let me know what you think!