written in November, 1991, and distributed
again in November, 2000. Ironically,
I now have partial ownership in
a distributorship of HIV test kits.
Nineteen years later, Magic Johnson
is still alive).
turned up the radio a little bit
so I could be sure I had heard correctly.
Magic Johnson, at the very height
of his career with my favorite Los
Angeles Lakers team, had retired
due to the diagnosis that he had
the AIDS virus. A man who had everything
awards, money, championships,
the satisfaction of being the best
at what he did, influence, a new
wife, and a child on the way
will probably die of a currently
incurable disease. Not
only the basketball fans, but an
entire nation was shocked. The AIDS
disease was suddenly closer to everyone.
years ago, ten men were walking
down the road. They each had an
incurable disease. All ten men were
instantly healed by Jesus, but only
one of the ten returned to say,
Thank you. You say,
I cant believe that.
If I got AIDS, and someone gave
me a miracle drug to permanently
cure me, I would be forever grateful.
But dont be so fast to judge.
All of us are basically selfish,
ungrateful, and can see only our
current needs and desires.
Every day hundreds of others serve
us, and we only pause to complain
to the one out of 100 who did not
perform up to our standard.
you said, thank you
lately to a firefighter, law enforcement
officer, store clerk, teacher, doctor,
pastor, or to a service person?
Even more importantly, what about
the friend who is always there,
that special grandparent, your brother
or sister, your mom or dad, your
mate, or even your children? Why
are we so ungrateful to those who
love us the most and are closest
a world bent on satisfying self
with power, pleasure, and
possessions, the gracious thankful
person with a smiling face and positive
words is a rarity. America is the
greatest nation on this earth, but
even on Thanksgiving Day, few will
even pause between the turkeys and
TV to offer a word of thanks to
their creator. Billy Graham says,
is a part of the intimate relationship
that exists between us and God.
Yet there are thousands today
who are not thankful. We arent
thankful as individuals, nor are
we thankful as a nation.
Woods, quoted in Forbes Magazine,
dont thank God enough for
much that He has given us. Our
prayers are too often the beggars
prayer, the prayer that asks for
something. We offer too few prayers
of thanksgiving and praise.
Just because most people we meet
will be ungrateful does not mean
that we should return in kind.
It is anothers fault
if he be ungrateful; but it is
mine if I do not give. To find
one thankful man, I will oblige
many that are not so. I had rather
never receive a kindness than
never bestow one. Not to return
a benefit is a great sin; but
not to confer one is a greater.
than one hundred thirty times in
the Bible we are called upon to
give thanks to God. In the Psalms
alone, we are reminded of it thirty
times. Be thankful unto Him,
and bless His name.
is good to give thanks to the
My favorite is in the New Testament,
where we are instructed to thank
God no matter what happens.
we enter this holiday season,
may we form a life-long habit
of being thankful to our family,
friends, and everyone else that
we encounter. Let us all be thankful
to God. He has given us all things.
And remember, spiritually speaking,
we are all born with an incurable
disease, yet He has freely offered
we all learn to be thankful
even in difficult times.