“It has been called the daily prayer for everyone,” I told Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan. It was a clue in a trivia challenge. Ed felt that he knew the answer to the trivia question, although he is not religious. He said the answer is, “Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer.”
“No, not the right answer,” I told Ed, who was surprised. “The answer is, ‘thank you.’ Thank you is said to be the prayer everyone should say daily.” Ed had to tell me that saying, “thank you,” could cause him to have indigestion. He also felt that because he does not say, “thank you,’” often, it has a real effect on his family when he does say it. My old neighbour feels it is like saying, “I love you,” you shouldn’t say it too often, or it will be meaningless.
I agree with Ed that when we say thank you, it should be sincere, but, “thank you,” can be a pinch of heaven here on earth. When folks say, “thank you,” to us, it has the power to brighten our attitude. When we say, “thank you,” to others, it can lift their spirits. The other day I said, “Thank you and have a nice day,” to a clerk in a Dollar Store. Her face showed surprise, maybe even shock. Was it a hard day of cranky shoppers for her? It was evident she hadn’t received many people saying, “thank you” to her before me.
Husbands, wives, and children do love to hear a daily, “thank you.” Family relationships can be full of pressures. Teenagers appreciate hearing, “thank you,” for being home before curfew. Whoever cooked the supper might be pleased to hear, “thank you for making supper, it tastes great to me.”
The Bible speaks of us needing to develop an attitude of gratitude. We are told to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. Saying, “thank you,” is holding on to a good habit in daily life. It reflects a willingness to be kind to everyone. We build each other up when we take a second to say to others, “thank you.”
In the Bible, Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, and as he was going into a village, ten men with leprosy called out to Jesus for his help. Jesus told them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they went to the priests, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus to thank Jesus. The healed man came back to Jesus, praising God, and he threw himself before Jesus' feet to thank Him.
The ten men suffered from leprosy, but only one came back to say, “thank you.” Nine out of the ten did not say, “thank you,” even though they had excellent reasons to say it. How often are we like the nine who did not say, “thank you,” for our tremendous or small healings, from God.’
As Christians, we again celebrate the Lenten Season beginning with Ash Wednesday (Feb. 26). We know we have every reason to say, “thank you,” to Jesus for his sacrificial death on the cross for our and all sin.