Can you believe it’s November? Someone reminded me the other day that it was only two months until Christmas.
But wait, first things first. November is the month of Thanksgiving, and I’ve already begun thinking about gratitude, even for the simple things.
Linda Neukrug wrote an article, in which she told about having to work as a checkout clerk in a grocery store on Thanksgiving Day. She felt sorry for herself that she got stuck with the assignment, but the manager reminded her she was lowest in seniority. It was a job she had secured after being laid off from her teaching job. So it meant a lot to her, but working on Thanksgiving Day was a real disappointment.
Then Mr. Dell, a 70-ish man with a fringe of white hair circling his pink scalp, came through her line. He was always cheerful. “Good morning, young lady!” he greeted her, but in her foul mood she nodded abruptly and looked down at the register.
His grocery cart always had a meager amount in it: one carton of yogurt, a single potato. She thought, “If there were such a thing as half a head of lettuce, he’d buy it.” So she always thought of him as someone who lacked a lot of things.
Her boss had instructed her to say “Happy Thanksgiving” to the customers. But when she said it to Mr. Dell, she bit her lip. She wondered if he even knew it was a holiday.
As if he had read her mind, he said, “One day is the same as the next to me.” Then he added, “They’re all thanksgiving days. Every time I come in here, I thank my Maker.”
Linda was astonished. “You mean you pray in here? In a grocery store?”
“Certainly, prayers of thanksgiving. And what better place than a grocery store? Look around you.”
She looked but saw only what she had seen hundreds of times. To her blank stare, he said, “Oriental food, kosher food, Spanish food—all kinds of food for all kinds of people. We are surrounded by plenty of good food, plenty of nice people, and plenty of reasons to thank God every day.”
The apostle Paul understood this. He said, “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV). Look around you. Count your blessings. Use this month to give thanks.