One day as Jesus was walking through a village, ten men who were lepers approached Him and begged for mercy. “Go show yourselves to the priests,” Jesus said. (That’s a story in itself, but for another time.) They did as they were told, and along the way discovered that their leprosy was gone. Of the ten, however, only one turned back to thank the Lord who had healed him.
Could it be that the other nine were unappreciative? Doubtful. They must have been absolutely thrilled to be free of a terrible disease. Their shortcoming, therefore, was not a lack of thanks, but a lack of expressing that thanks.
My days are filled with good things from the hands of many individuals. I eat food prepared by others, purchase needs and wants with funds that a business and its customers make possible, gain clarity in the inner life through conversations. Shame on me if I take all this for granted. Feeling gratitude in my heart is a step up. But a much more excellent response is to show appreciation to those whose efforts and friendship enhance my life.
In the course of the journey – both physical and spiritual – there are many reasons to be grateful. Each one provides the opportunity to pursue an even higher calling. I can stop, turn around, and give thanks.