Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing. — 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV)
What you do matters.
It may be hard to know that in the middle of any given day or meeting or moment. You may leave more than one task unfinished, more than one email waiting for response, more than one goal unaccomplished. Most people do, including the greatest multi-taskers among us. To do is to leave some things undone.
We all walk a great path, with our steps mattering to the greater march of humanity. We can learn how to thank ourselves, in unfinished ways, for the great unfinished of our lives.
My friend practices random acts of guerrilla compassion. She may over-tip the lunch waiter or give her mother’s caretaker a restaurant gift card or clean up an entire picnic area. Her creative acts of appreciation and recognition say a lot about what she might have liked for herself. Just a little nod to remembering that what we do matters is often enough to take us to the next step on the long path.
When we are thanked, we go on to thank others. Blessings multiply into happy endings; ingratitudes multiply into messes. How to get the appreciation we ourselves want? Appreciate others. How to get the encouragement we ourselves want? Encourage others. The golden rule is truly golden and has many applications. Once we know that what we do matters, we go on to help others recognize the same.
God of compassion and appreciation, remind us that Thanksgiving doesn’t need to be kept to the month of November. Amen.
About the Author
Donna Schaper contributed this devotional to ‘How Can We Thank You? Let Us Count The Ways’, a book of gratitude for those—in our churches and our lives—who support the work and ease the way.
A Daily Devotional from the United Church of Christ USA.