Friday, August 22, 2008


I’ve been doing a lot of ruminating on a couple of Scriptures. The first contains the injunction, “in everything give thanks.” The other is the story of Jesus and the ten lepers he healed. One came back to give thanks while the rest of them went on their way, blissfully celebrating their new life.

It is proper that we heed the oft-preached exhortation to give thanks for and in difficult times and we Christians are fairly competent at giving genuine praise to God for His sustaining power. It’s just that we sometimes become fairly selective in deciding what qualifies as important enough for the extra efforts we have to put forward.

I’d like to introduce another view of this mandate to express appreciation and thanks in everything. Though far from where I want to be, I have made it a daily habit to go out of my way to give thanks to those people and organizations that I tend to take for granted. If you’re at all interested, here are a couple of suggestions: Why not drop a personal note to the local police department expressing your genuine appreciation for their role in serving your community. Sure some of them are rotten – as are some other folk I know - but I sure wouldn’t want to live somewhere that had no one to enforce the rules. Speaking of the rules – why not genuinely thank the officer who might stop you for speeding or jay walking? Who knows, perhaps God has used him or her to prevent your being involved in a fatal accident!

Because this is a blog directed to writers, I’m going to suggest that we have unique responsibilities in this “exercise in gratitude.” How often since you’ve written to someone who beat you out in a contest you really wanted to win - just to thank them for setting such a high standard of excellence for our profession/ministry? You haven’t? I haven’t either but I’m thinking of a long overdue note I need to write. And what about sources you’ve interviewed (even the ones who were, shall I say, less than uplifting in their remarks)?

I’ll close with just one more reminder: have you TWG recipients of monetary awards ever taken time to voluntarily thank your sponsor? No one approached me (and perhaps they just forgot) but a thank you would have put a smile on my face. I didn’t win anything this year (I didn’t enter, either) but in the past I found that a simple handwritten note evoked great appreciation from the sponsors that made it possible for me to have certificates hanging on my wall. Gratitude produces gratitude and we could all use more of that.

I’d love to see 100 per cent membership in the Appreciation Participation writers’ organization. Who would be the objects of our expressions of appreciation? Why not use this question as a topic of discussion on the writers’ list serve.

Linda Wenger

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