A few weeks ago, I did something I never thought I would do. I went to my high school choir reunion. I know, right?
When the invitation came through Facebook, I sat back as others excitedly responded. ‘Really?’ I thought to myself, ‘It’s been such a long time (33 years since I graduated from high school) what would be the purpose?’ I had decided not to attend. Shortly after making my determined decision I received a personal invitation from my music teacher/choir director. I must say, that changed everything.
This teacher was someone who saw something in me, that I didn’t know existed. Believe it or not, I was a pretty shy, insecure kid in high school. All those beautiful blonde, blue eyed girls gracing the hallways. And then there was me. Rather than feeling special or unique, I felt out of place, awkward and certainly not talented. But Mr McLaughlin thought differently and he helped me rise above my insecurities and fears. The minute I walked into the choir room in grade 10, this teacher made me feel like I had something to offer.
Before walking into the choir room, I was like a bird in a cage that didn’t know I could fly. This teacher nurtured me, challenged me and reminded me that I had God given wings. Then he opened the door of the cage and let me fly. He entrusted me solos in the choir and jazz band and the lead in the musical. He not only developed my love for music, but my self confidence. And in the process he nurtured my soul.
After reading his message, I decided that I would go to the reunion if for no other reason than to say thank you, in person, to my high school music teacher.
When I arrived at the gathering I was horrified.
As I looked around to see familiar faces, the room was full of old people. My high school colleagues were now old. I mean really old! What happened? Did I get old too? (I know the answer, you need not smirk). I am, however, happy to report that there were no walkers or oxygen tanks in the room!
It really was wonderful to go back and see those I had not seen for over 30 years. But for me the highlight was the opportunity to say thank you to my beloved teacher. Before the event wound down, I took a quiet moment to look my teacher in the eyes and tell him how much I appreciated what he did for me all those years ago. The look on his face as I shared my heart with him was worth the two hour drive. He thanked me and asked,
“Are you still singing, Mona?”
“I am,” I replied, “Thank you!”
I am so glad that I took the opportunity to express my gratitude and to say “thank you”. It felt right. It actually felt wonderful!
Cultivating a spirit of thankfulness is more than a good idea; it’s actually a direct command from God. In the Old Testament, God laid down specific guidelines for the Israelites to bring thank offerings. In the New Testament, believers are instructed to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I believe that cultivating a spirit of thankfulness honours God, strengthens our faith and it also strengthens our relationships with other people.
Everyone is capable of being thankful. Thankful to God and also thankful to the people in our midst. But you and I know that not everyone is. I believe that when we live out a thankful attitude, God is glorified and others are blessed by it. I saw that in my teachers eyes.
Is there someone in your past or present that needs you to say “thank you”?
Join us this Sunday as we begin a new series entitled: Samson! Be sure to join us and bring a friend, you'll be glad you did!