Not a bad idea, but it wasn’t mine.
As I sat in my pink chair praying about an upcoming trip, that sentence popped into my mind.
Since no one else was home, obviously, it came from God.
Easy. I could do that.
But I thought the message silly. I always expressed my thanks to people who deserved it.
God wasn’t done: “Look the ticket taker on the Puget Sound ferry in the eye and say thank you.”
Make eye contact. Okay.
“Thank everyone. Particularly those who need it.”
Why wouldn’t I? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 spells it out clearly:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Thank you, travel assistants.
Southwest Airlines held the plane two minutes so we could make it.
I rented the car effortlessly.
We thanked my brother-in-law for a night’s rest.
Everyone took it in stride, but what would happen at the ferry terminal?
“Thank you, so much,” I said waiting to take my ticket until the person behind the window looked at me.
Nothing extraordinary, light did not shine down, angels didn’t sing.
Dismissed. I shook my head and returned to the car.
We traveled to Bremerton, no problems, and waved to the ferry operators when we drove off.
What was that all about?
It doesn’t matter. I just did what I was told to do.
Thank you, unhappy workers
Making eye contact and deliberately thanking people is a habit after all these years.
Whenever I visit a local story with miserable employees, I try to make friendly remarks while being checked out.
I wait for them to look at me when they pull off the receipt.
Then I smile and say thanks.
They usually smile back.
It’s a small thing, but I believe it helps cheer them up.
Thank you for your patience
The Thessalonian passage echoes through my life–particularly that last clause: in all circumstances.
Unfortunately, I am not perfect.
I frequently lose my patience in poorly handled business situations.
My caustic and cynical tongue knows how to lash.
But I’m supposed to be thankful.
I’m supposed to model Christ to all I meet–and be thankful.
Fortunately, I’m experienced in confessing sin and apologizing.
More than once, I’ve made a sarcastic remark to a hapless employee on the phone, or more recently at the inept pharmacy.
If my husband is there, he always reminds me to “be nice to the help.”
He’s right. It’s not their fault the system is stacked against them and me.
When I catch myself being harsh, I apologize: “I’m so sorry, I know this is not your fault. Forgive me.”
Many people have laughed and all have accepted my apology.
I make sure to thank them, “for your patience and so much for your help,” when I hang up or finish.
How’s it working out?
God loves a thankful heart.
Scripture is full of verses about being thankful.
When I confess my lack of thankfulness and look for reasons to be thankful, Colossians 3:15 steps in:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
It’s easier to be at peace if you practice thankfulness.
Especially to those who don’t always get it.
Apologizing and being thankful in stressful situations. Click to Tweet
Blessing others by being thankful in all circumstances. Click to Tweet
For those having difficulty writing a thank you note, consider this guide.