I looked at the pile of mail and paused. This is unusual for me – I don’t usually go through the mail at home. Kristin does an amazing job of tracking everything – bills, invitations, save the dates. Today, I stopped.
There was a card sticking out of the pile. I saw that it said “Casey” before it was covered by the Pizza Hut advertisement. I plucked it out to find it was addressed to “Casey’s Dad.” I don’t think I ever received something address like that, so it took me back. I saw that it was from our South Tampa Campus Pastor, Mike Ash. I opened it up to find a card that shared his appreciation that Casey is part of his team, how he is doing and gratitude. I was stunned. I received it when Mike was actually in Nicaragua. He intentionally made time to make sure that card was received when he was being a husband and father, leading a growing, new campus and preparing to take a trip out of the country. That is amazing and humbling.
Gratitude is an interesting expression. I know that there are some out there that feel they deserve all they get. I don’t know many people like that. Most people work hard and they reap the benefits of that. Yet, to go beyond that step where you leave entitlement and get to a place of thankfulness is a great movement in maturity.
As I get older, I have found that saying “Thank you” is one of the easiest things you can do. One caveat – It must be genuine. As you go through your day, look for people who genuinely helped you. It can be as easy as the lady at the café who sold me a bottle of water or as difficult as the great airline counter agent who helped me untangle a mess of a reservation. Both gave me something that I valued. People are doing that all the time. Take a moment to acknowledge that.
A bigger challenge is follow Pastor Mike’s lead. I challenge you to write a thank you note to someone this week. Think of someone who has impacted your life and thank them for it. I write thank you notes on a regular basis. At the end of the year, I write a note of appreciation to the top five people who influenced my life in a new way that year. It is a great exercise to think of how you have grown and to appreciate those who helped you take those steps.
Why are you still reading…go write note!