One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. Luke 17:15
This verse is from a short story in the gospel of Luke where Jesus happens upon 10 lepers who cry from a distance for mercy. He sends them to the priest and they are healed as they go. One turned back to say "thank you" and to praise God. Jesus asked "Where are the other nine?" I am afraid that 90% of the time I am in the 90% who forget to say "thank you".
I would like to do better.
So, thank you Santa. If you checked your list twice, I know you must have scratched some things out that I did this year. You must have overlooked LOTS of things I did not get around to doing this year.
Thank you, LaWanna. Your gift indicates that you are listening to my thoughts and dreams and the listening is the best gift you could give.
Thank you, Helen, Laura, Mark, Baron, Lindsay, Tata, Chris, Holly, and Skylar. Your willingness to participate in a new Christmas tradition of giving to others instead of exchanging gifts is encouraging and makes me a proud dad. Our gift will be a token amount compared to the great need of Cystic Fibrosis research, but every bit helps people like David live longer and enjoy Christmas with family.
Thank you, Keith. You are a great brother--in every sense of the word. Who else would drag me out for an early morning 5 mile run to work off the pralines? Thank you, Becky, Russ, and Grace for the great gifts that indicate you have been thinking about our family.
Thank you, Rachael for spending time with our crazy family and for preparing to become one of us THIS WEEK!
Thank you, Anthony for driving to Americus and back to Atlanta on Christmas day and tolerating our silliness in order to spend time with Helen. I hope we can spend some time together in a setting where we can get to know you better.
Thank you, mama! You are amazing! I wish I had inherited/learned more of your planning and list-making abilities. I do notice how efficient it makes you and although I am nearly grown, I still hope to learn to do better. Although you are the matriarch of our clan, you are the driving force of these gatherings. I know it takes lots of energy, money, and determination to prepare your great meals, provide such generous gifts, and cook the best candy in the world. Really, just the pralines are all you need to provide to have done a fair share. You serve as a great role model for me and the rest of the family by serving the way you do at an age where you deserve to sit back and be served. I feel guilty that you do so much, but you are too fast to be outdone. It is like being on a cruise ship--I set a dish down and when I turn back around it has been washed, placed in the dishwasher, and is being washed again.
And, of course, thank you, God. We are all healthy. We traveled safely. We all went back to jobs. We have people to love and who love us. Most of all, we can call you Father because you made it possible for us to have that relationship with you. Sometimes we thank Santa for gifts that come from you. Sometimes we thank each other for gifts that come from you. Much of the time we forget to say "thank you" at all. I am going to try to do better. It is a New Year's resolution. Again.