This morning in church it took a while for our Pastor to get into his message.
Our pastor, by the way, is my father-in-law. He and my mother-in-law had just returned from a three-week mission to the Philippines. Their trip is an annual thing and when they return, many church members are anxious to hear about their stories — the places they traveled, the people they visited, and the relatives they have connected with while there.
This recounting takes a lengthy amount of time. At least it seems that way for me, since I’m not familiar with the individual towns throughout the Philippines. He sometimes slips into speaking Ilocano and then I’m totally lost. So, I sit, and try to make the best of the morning.
He finally did make it to his sermon which was about Giving Thanks and the story of how Jesus healed the 10 lepers. In the story, only 1 of came back to say “thank you” and he was a Samaritan. (They Jews did not think highly of Samaritans).
Now why share this story? To show how ungrateful people are? To show how hypocritical religious people can be? Well, I think it was to show gratitude. How it’s important to take the time to be thankful. It reminds me of a quote attributed to Mother Theresa. Someone asked her how she would continue to feed the hundreds that came to her mission. Her response was simple. “If you can’t feed a hundred people, than just feed one.”
With Jesus being Almighty and all, surely he knew only one person would come back to thank him. That didn’t matter to him, he wasn’t doing it for the thank-you. He was simply doing his thang.
It made me think that I need to do the same. Religious or not. A believer or not. Christian or not. It’s a good practice for us to embrace.
I need to take the time to show gratitude. And I need to do at least ten times, even if only one person appreciates it. I need to smile at hundreds of people throughout the day, even if only one person smiles back. I need to listen to these Sunday morning sermons, even if only one Sunday it is relevant to my life. Goodness, it’s all relevant isn’t it? It really is up to me to make every moment productive. Every moment meaningful. Humph, I guess it was a good sermon after all!