In everything give thanks

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, October 8, 2023

The neighborhood school bus is making its regular rounds again. Each time I see it I recall the years my siblings and I rode that lumbering yellow tank. Not all of the roads leading to school were paved, and boarding students knew to find an empty seat soon. If not, the head-yanking acceleration of the bus would send not only the seat-seekers shuffling down the aisle, but also their thermos or any insecure books.

The seats were like icy planks in the winter mornings and blazing hot on the fall rides home. And those windows — they required real muscle to raise and lower. If an inconsiderate rider sat in front of you, he could turn a great hair day into a wild one on the way to school.

A bus crash always makes headline news wherever it happens. Concern and empathy abound — as they should. However I think of how it never crossed my mind to be grateful for all the safe rides that bus served us. School buses cover thousands of miles with valuable cargo, and if like me, few ever express gratitude for the many miles of safe deliveries.

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Every church prayer list has lengthy lists of health requests. Disease, viruses, pandemics and debilitating injuries help make those lists. I’m guilty again. I pray for healing, believing in God’s power that has no limits, but how often do I stop to thank God for a “healthy” day, a sound mind, limbs that work — maybe with a few grunts and groans, but still work? I’ll admit it, I want God to “fix” things, but I’m stingy on my gratitude to Him for ALL the things that work well day after day.

Those testimonies of God’s amazing intervention to free addicts from their addictions always draw the most attention. I certainly praise Him for the release of those in bondage, but aren’t the testimonies of God’s provision for those who have lived free of addictions a powerful testimony too? I take issue with those who label the teenage years as the “rebellious years.” That’s giving the enemy a victory before teenagers even begin that challenging track.

It took me one trip out of the US to give me a new appreciation of my local grocery stores. Note that I said stores, as in plural! There are convenient means of carrying our selections as well as  choices that would astonish third world countries. Add me to that list that will occasionally complain that my favorite item is not on the shelf or the “special” has been depleted. Where’s my gratitude that I have access to acres of food items and the means to get them to our pantry?

“In everything give thanks,” is a great verse because my  “thanksgiving list”  covers enough to fill my days when gratitude fills my heart.

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.