These are perhaps two of the most underrated words. When I hear this pair of words directed at me, I am always surprised by how deeply it impacts me. Sometimes I hear it after a math lecture with our upperclassmen. Other times I hear it after teaching in one of our chapels. Or it might be spoken to me after guiding students across our busy crosswalk. Occasionally, the words are connected with a tasty treat, which not only deeply impacts my soul but also my stomach!
The words themselves are rather quite trivial, but the intentionality when one uses them is significant. In today’s culture, the pursuit of personal fulfillment is on the rise, and the practice of gratefulness is on the decline. Each one of us is not immune to the influences of this cultural trend. But as disciples of Jesus Christ, these weaknesses can be replaced with the power available through our faith in God. We cannot escape the world, but we can do our little part to be ambassadors of the transformation God is doing inside of us.
Gratefulness is an area in which I often cry out, just as Paul did in his letter to Timothy, “I am the chief of sinners.” I wish I was a more grateful person! I am so blessed with the family, friends, school teammates, and community that God has placed around me. Yet my intentionality in saying “Thank you” often comes up short. As God continues to replace my weakness with His power, can you do me a favor? As you prepare to meet with our teachers during Parent-Teacher conferences, join with your spouse and prayerfully consider how grateful you are for your child’s teachers. And then take those “good thoughts”, and make them “good actions”, by giving them a “Thank you” for all the seen and unseen service to this community.
*Ironically, after writing this article, but before sending it out, a parent and student brought in a thank you card and donuts for all of the teachers! And this happens regularly! Thank you!