Belated Thanks

By Mark Azzara

Dear Friend,

Everybody writes about Thanksgiving beforehand. Rarely does anyone do it afterward. But this is when we really need to think about it.

Thanksgiving is over. Now get out there and shove everybody else out of the way if that’s what it takes to buy everything on your shopping list at the cheapest possible price!

I know that sounds crass but it’s one way of looking at the holiday we celebrated just days ago. Last week’s thanksgiving could well be this week’s hypocrisy.

If we’re genuinely thankful then do we really need to rush to the stores to spend ourselves into near bankruptcy just so we can take comfort in how much we “saved?” If thankfulness is as important as we say it is, wouldn’t it be nice if we acted in a way that manifested our gratitude? You know, by letting someone else grab the last box off the store shelf.

The problem with thankfulness is in how we view it. Simply put, there is a profound difference between what we are thankful FOR and whom we are thankful TO.

Which of those two options was at the heart of your Thanksgiving celebration?

If I am thankful for things then I may not be thankful next year at this time if I don’t have even more things. But if my focus is on thanking the one who gives me all things I will be grateful now and in the next year, regardless of what I possess, because the giver will be more important to me than his gifts.

And remember this: Every gift, no matter how beautiful or valuable today, will eventually be old or boring or stale or broken, but the giver never will.

All God’s blessings – Mark


About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal State Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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