I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. (Ephesians 1:16)
As a child if you asked me what I was thankful for at Thanksgiving, most of my answers would have been things. I was thankful for toys, my bicycle, cookies, that sort of thing. If you ask me today, people will top my list over things. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my church (the people, not the building).
As we grow older, we come to realize a full and abundant life is built on relationships, not stuff. We may covet the new car, the big new house, the latest tech gadget, but a life built on having more stuff is like running on the proverbial hamster wheel. You can keep running faster and faster, but you never get anywhere.
The problem with things is that, for the most part, the moment we possess them they begin to lose value. The new car depreciates. The house needs constant repairs. The latest tech gadget will be obsolete by tomorrow. Studies have also shown that the real joy we feel with our stuff comes in the getting it, not the having it. The joy of shopping only lasts until you get home.
On the other hand, relationships grow in value over time. I love my wife more today than the day we were married. My relationship with my children is so much more complex today than it was when they were young. I enjoy my brother and sister today much more than I did when we were kids and fighting over, well, everything. It’s true with my church family as well. As I get to know you, my love and appreciation grows only stronger.
And so, I echo Paul’s words in his greeting to the church in Ephesians. I give thanks for you, all of you, as I remember you in my prayers. That is true both in this week of Thanksgiving and each and every day.
I give thanks for you.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!