I Walk Along A Lonesome Road
I walk along a lonesome road,
A traveler with a fleshly load;
And those I see ahead of me,
In all the days of yet-t0-be …
Silently, swiftly disappear –
Day by day – and year by year.
We walk, but ne’er quite side by side,
Though even to be as one we’ve tried;
We walk a while, then go our way –
Some to the land of a cloudless day.
The rest, to where for sins we pray,
Surely and deftly, we reach our goal;
How ‘bout it friend? What of your soul?
From the collection of verses by
Claude S. Davis
Those two words used to be “automatic” from recipients of any presentation. Regardless of what it was, why it was given (even as a “gag” gift), or from whom it was given, “Thank you” seemed to always follow. A generation or so ago, parents were heard asking their children when they were given something, “Now what do you say?” and the reply was a strained, “Thank you.” Soon after, an even more strained “Thanks” came from those even less grateful, and now, well, we seldom hear those marvelous words.
Our Lord never failed to give thanks for everything received! If you searched for the phrase, “gave thanks” or “I thank thee, Father,” an abundance of passages appears! Yet, in today’s world, it seems few follow the blessed example, and fewer still even consider an attitude of appreciation. Frankly, it’s become an unexpected pleasure to hear someone express genuine gratitude for sincerely given gifts including intangible efforts of labor.
Some present-day sociologists call this behavior an “entitled mentality.” I’m too old-fashioned for that, and so call it what it is – selfishness and ingratitude! Few if any of us who passed the age of two are “entitled” to anything more than nurture and admonition of the Lord given abundantly by the parents. Even that reaches a point where the receiver needs to obtain the greater abundance on his own (Ephesians 5:1-4; Hebrews 5:12 – 6:12; 2 Peter 3:18; et al) But from our youth up, we need to learn gratitude, and be taught how to express it sincerely, frequently, and reverently!
When we pray, how sincere are we in our thanksgiving? The inspired writer tells us, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) If we truly obey this commandment, our thanksgiving will last more than a few minutes between, “Dear God,” and “In Jesus’ name, amen.” We thought it was “cute” when our young children “returned thanks” at the table, and thanked God for the meat, potatoes, bread, beans, and then started added the butter, salt, and pepper, but refused to include the vegetables they didn’t like! It is “cute” now when as adults, thankfulness is so sparse and sincerity either “routine” or non-existent?
I’ve known brethren who in their “private prayers” have gone from pew to pew in their minds and naming each person, gave thanks for them, and asked God’s care toward some particular needs that soul possesses. I’ve known others whose appreciation for their blessings is so genuine, tears stream down their faces as they struggle for just the right words to tell God, “Thank you!” Unfortunately, I’ve also known some who don’t even nod in some semblance of gratitude when given something. Instead, their expression is one of “never enough” and leaves the giver feeling they gave too much!
“Thank you” isn’t just courtesy, it’s love; it’s recognition of someone’s sacrifice: regardless of great or small, they thought of YOU or wouldn’t have bothered to include you in the giving. When you read passages like John 3:16, just how grateful are you? When you read Hebrews 8:12, how much thanks does it take to prove your appreciation? And when you read Hebrews 13:5 – 6, are there words enough in your vocabulary to adequately thank the God of heaven?
To our brethren, we owe our thanks! From them we receive exhortation, admonishment, love, instruction, etc. Are we grateful, or do we take these blessings for granted? Ephesians 1:3 is a tremendous passage, but again, we must be exceptionally grateful and prove it by our words and deeds. After all, God provides many of those spiritual blessings through the hands of His children! So lest I be negligent, let me assure you of my thankfulness for each of you who consistently increases my joy of being a child of God by helping me as I endeavor to help you and others! And together, let’s be more thankful to God who has provided us with all things for which we are grateful!