Thanks is ubiquitous, often in a mechanical way. We say thanks at the end of tedious emails to Customer Service or Human Relations. We exchange mumbled thanks at the checkout. We prompt children for ‘the magic words’. But sometimes we slam on the brakes in the nick of time and say ‘oh thank God’. So why dedicate a whole day to giving thanks, especially a day burdened with the hype of football games, creeping Black Friday sales, traveling relatives, and lots
of cooking?

A basic truth about thanks, worth pausing to think about in the midst of our busyness, is that every thank you from the most grudging to the most profound, is a tiny, powerful connection to the world outside ourselves. Thanks is an acknowledgement that we can’t do it all ourselves. We need each other, depend on each other, for everything from getting our tall decaf white peppermint latte with extra whipped just right to keeping us company on the roller coaster ride
from birth to death.

If thanks helps us pause and recognize the web of relationships connecting us to the wider world, we might also linger for a moment in the marvel of it all. The beauty of backlit blues and grays at sunrise. The harmony of teenagers belting out the eleven o’clock number in the high school musical. The endurance and grace in the raised arms of the athlete crossing the finish line. Thanks pulls us out of ourselves and into our relationships with everything that is beyond us: the world, the people, the wonder that is beneath, within and beyond it all.
And so we say thanks.

~submitted by BJ 11.21.13
for more reflection on praying thanks, check out Anne Lamott’s Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (NY: Riverhead Books, 2012)

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