Giving Thanks: When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

As we approach the celebration of our Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, we recognise that we Canadians have much for which to be thankful. This is good.  Studies have been done, for example, that show that when you express thankfulness, you also bolster your own self-worth and self-esteem. It also helps you to build friendships and strengthen existing ones.

The world’s most prominent researcher and writer about gratitude, Robert Emmons, defines gratitude as “a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.” This weekend, therefore, I invite you to give God thanks for all the blessings you enjoy in life. Think also of others who have not been so blessed and find ways to help them. Remember: gratitude is something that not only blesses the person being thanked; it also blesses the one who offers gratitude.

I leave you with an old reflection that you have likely read many times before, but which still packs a powerful punch:

  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I immediately wanted to paint another one.–  When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favourite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

    — When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favourite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

  • When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.When you thought I wasn’t looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel well and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s alright to cry.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.
  • When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, ‘Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.’

 

 

“ReDesigning Retirement” — Clergy from Western Ontario Waterways, Horseshoe Falls and Antler River Watershed regions are invited to join in this special day away at Five Oaks!

“ReDesigning Retirement: A Practical Spirituality for the Second Half of Life”

I am very excited to be able to offer this one day workshop for our clergy who are nearing retirement, as well as those who have already retired! Please join me and colleagues Rev. Kevin Steeper and Rev. Ann Corbet for this special day in this beautiful, peaceful setting near Paris, Ontario!

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019

10-4 pm

Five Oaks Retreat Centre, Paris, Ontario

This is a study day for clergy in the WOW, HF and ARW regions.

Come and enjoy a day of reflection, silence and fellowship in the

beautiful space of Five Oaks.

Cost: $40.00 per person and this includes lunch

Copies of my book, “Re-Designing Your Life”,  will be available

at the cost of $20.00.

Registration: Please contact Ruthanna Mack at RMack@united-church.ca