Giving thanks is an important part of remaining whole. There is plenty of encouragement to give thanks, whether it is in a reduced form of politeness, manners, or social interaction in which things are progressed, or the more instructional life commands such as those by Rabbi Sha’ul, “in all circumstances give thanks…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18a. Giving thanks is a willful decision to pass on a blessing. (in religious speak that is). Most of creation receives the creators life energy (or blessing) without any interaction. Plant and insect life are good examples. Anywhere a plant can grow, or an insect breed, it will. The energy of unbridled, unmitigated life is in evidence all around us. One current example is Chernobyl. “While radiation has certainly caused mutations in some of these animals, it is astounding that the area has been able to come back as much as it has.” Life, there is nothing like it!
To put some definition around thanks, I wish to elevate it above the mundane. The person on a store register can hand you your change and you can acknowledge the end of the transaction with a ‘Thanks’ or a grunt. This is not what I mean by thanks. This is simply a verbal mechanism to end the transaction and move on.
When I talk about thanks, I mean, you look the person in the eye, give recognition of their person and say ‘thank you’, conveying genuine appreciation for the service rendered and for them as a person. It only takes a few seconds if that yet can have a profound effect on both you and the person you thank in such a manner. Remember a time when you expected thanks, but never received it? It leaves a negative emotion. Remember a time when someone has simply appreciated you, not so much what you did, but you. It felt really good I’m sure.
The creator gives us the opportunity of being a channel of his creative power by giving thanks. If we give thanks, creative energy flows from our being to another, thus building them up. If we refrain from giving thanks, we don’t pass on a blessing, we rob the person worthy of thanks.
I used to work for a dam operator and while the dam was used for water supply and flood control, the environment around the dam was also a high priority within the organisation. Water quality was checked on a continuous basis and environmental flow was regulated to ensure that the river downstream from the dam was healthy. Normally, valves were opened to ensure a continuous flow, however at times, the engineers would also open the gates to feed the downstream river. The opening of the gates can be compared to our decision to say thanks. It was a choice of the engineers to open the gates and it’s a choice we have to give thanks. The valves in the wall, letting a small but continuous flow can equate to a lifestyle of giving thanks in all the small things.
At another time, I used to work for an organisation with a very large property. Large enough for a separate property division. The head of that department did something for my department and without thinking about it much, I purposely went and thanked him as was my normal custom. In the days that followed, I found out from the larger community that this event had caused quite a stir. This manager having worked in this role for many years had never been thanked and when I did so, he didn’t quite know what to do he was so shocked. You would never have called us friends, but our respective departments always had a good relationship from then on. All the result of a simple ‘thank you’.
In relation to the example above with the dam, you might be aware of other types of dams that have no gates and no valves. If a flood comes, they simply over-top. Except for this, the downstream river or creek simply dries up and the land around it degrades due to lack of water. This is what a person is like when there is not a lifestyle of giving thanks. No creative energy is passed on, except for extreme events when the circumstances seem to dictate to this type of person that in this case giving thanks is applicable. You would also be aware that a body of water with no outflow becomes stagnant and unhealthy. The same happens to a person who doesn’t give thanks. This affects your health and wholeness because the result of ungratefulness is bitterness, complaining, and a joyless life. None of which are very conducive to health and wholeness.
Consider for a moment a time you may have been warmly thanked. Remember how it felt. It was good, uplifting. What happened there was the creators energy was gated through this person and you benefited. But so did they! Remember a body of water that has both healthy inflows and outflows is healthy and vibrant.
Consider if you give thanks, then you bless someone in religious terms, you expend energy in quantum physics terms, you make someone feel good in human relations terms. Any way you look at it, you give something away. Does it cost you to give thanks? Yes, it does. So the question is, if you keep giving away, how will you be filled? It’s a very interesting question!
My answer is that if you are connected to the Creator, He will. He will provide an unlimited source of positive, blessing / energy / feel good if you will only allow Him. There are a couple of important words here. The first is allow. The Creator gives you the choice. He never imposes himself upon you. You receive the consequences of your decision. Secondly, the Creator is prefixed with ‘the’. There is only one. There are many claiming to be He, however, there is only one. You can find out about him in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Now assuming you want to start being filled and start giving away blessing through thankfulness, and assuming you are new to this, here is also an opportunity to develop faith.
Many people think faith is simply believing. It is not! Let me demonstrate by using a story example about hearing. You have a small child playing with toys spread all over the dining room floor. You ask the child to pick the toys up and put them away because dinner time is approaching. The child has only heard you when the toys are being picked up and put away. He heard with his ears and he acted. Now let’s look at faith. This time, you are out abseiling with a bunch of friends. There is a rope tied off to a big hulking tree and you have watched your friends go over the cliff on the rope down to the bottom safely. You believe the rope will hold you. However, until you have your backside hanging out over the cliff, you have not demonstrated faith. In English terms, ‘believe’ is better understood by using the word trust.
So moving back to being thankful. If you were to seek the Creator and His filling and started giving away through thankfulness, you will have a demonstration of whether the Creator can be trusted or not. He never calls for blind faith. He always demonstrates His power and faithfulness. Now let’s say, that after a few weeks of actively, with intention, you are thankful. If at the end of those few weeks, consider for yourself, are you empty or fuller? If the latter, you have proved the Creator to be trustworthy. That’s the beginning of faith!
By engaging in the creative work of giving thanks, you reap a blessing for yourself. It is just that simple. There are many ways to get started. If you like making lists, make a list of all the people you are going to thank over the next period. If you like a challenge, set yourself a target to say ‘thank you’ with purpose and intention 5 times a day. Whatever works for you. The sooner you start participating with the creative work of the Creator by blessing someone, the sooner you will reap the reward of life flowing through you. Be Blessed Aryeh.
Give thanks to יהוה, for He is good, For His kindness is everlasting! I Chronicles 16:34