Thank you, Jimmy Fallon. Every Friday night Mr. Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Show”, spends 5 minutes televising his practice of writing ‘Thank You’ notes. Granted, many of these expressions of gratitude are written to express wit rather than appreciation. Still, I, for one, am grateful that he is demonstrating this act of human-kindness to a national audience. It makes me wonder when I last wrote a “Thank You” note – not a call or a text, but an actual pen-and-paper handwritten note appreciating some unmerited gift of kindness. As our national day of thanks approaches, perhaps now is the time to resume this old-fashioned courtesy.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
If I were to earnestly begin the habit of writing “Thank You” notes, I would quickly come up with a huge postage cost. I would necessarily start with God. Every good and perfect gift comes from the father above: blessing which include (but are in no way limited to) the gift of life, of ability, of pleasure and of love. I would write a second note to my wife. How much paper and ink would it take to say thanks for 30 years of big and small expressions of sacrificial kindness? Next comes my parents, without whom I would never have anything else to enjoy. Then, I would want to thank my children, who have lavished gifts and great lessons upon me. Then, I would thank my extended family, my church family and my friends. Beyond these, I would write notes to my neighbors, teachers, elected officials and civil servants. Finally, there are doctors, grocers, wait-staff and strangers who have brought comfort and convenience to my life.
The problem is that I likely will not do it. I may buy a few note-cards, and intend to fill them out. Then life will get ‘too busy’ for me to follow through. While I can rationalize my inability to practice a common courtesy expressed by a bygone generation to the presumption that no one expects a hand-written note for every act of thoughtfulness, I have no excuse for not conveying my thankfulness to those who are so thoughtful. If I desire to follow God, I must keeps His commands. One such command is that I be thankful.
I suppose I could express my thankfulness in a variety of ways, including the occasional “Thank You” note. I could pray more regularly with words that express my gratitude to God for the manifold glories He enables me to witness. I could call more consistently those who have shown me kindness and concern. And I could, when the circumstances warrant a break from the normal patterns of life, write a note to those who have offered their love in exceptional ways. Will you join me in being a team of thankful people who are willing to break from the patterns of life and spend a few moments expressing our gratitude to God and to one another?
Allow me to close by expressing my thanks to you for reading this post… thank you!