Beyond “Thanks!” – Amilee Beer, Fiat Ventures

Beyond “Thanks!” – Amilee Beer, Fiat Ventures

This is the time of year when we are often praised for our accomplishments.  Whether that be in the form of good grades, an award for an extra-curricular activity, a hug from a favorite teacher, or a party celebrating a graduation, we all look forward to these affirmations of our hard work, recognition of a job well done.  Our gut response is probably to smile and say thank you without even thinking.  It’s what we’ve been taught to do since a young age, and indeed is the polite and gracious way to receive a compliment.

But do we think about all that went into receiving that compliment?  Sure, we think about the late nights spent writing essays, the many hours practicing for a solo; the afternoons spent perfecting a technique on the field.  Maybe we think of the times we didn’t do so well, those times that motivated us to try harder the next time.

Do we also recognize the other factors?  The teachers and coaches who pushed our limits, the friends who encouraged and supported us, and our parents who are always our biggest fans.  These supporting people are usually easy to remember.  We can recall specific times when these people went out of their way to help us succeed.  Hopefully we remember to thank these people for the help and support they have given us!

But what about the help and support we receive from God?  It can be easy to forget to add him into the equation, especially if we go to a public school.  Do we overlook the ways he has helped us?  Maybe it was sending the Holy Spirit to us, to give us the courage to try something new, or the strength the keep going in difficult times.  Maybe it was through providing the friends and family who supported us along the way.  Maybe it was even bigger than that – placing us in families who could provide for us and give us opportunities to achieve.

In this week’s readings, we hear over and over how the Lord comes to our aid.  In the first reading, Jeremiah recalls in the midst of battle “the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion.”  He goes on to say, “Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD!” for he recognizes the way God has helped him.

The psalmist pleads, “Lord, in your great love, answer me,” for he is persecuted for the Lord’s sake.  We hear how he trusts the Lord to help him, and goes on to praise the Lord, for the Lord hears him!

So the next time someone says “Congratulations!” or “Great job!” let’s not forget to say a quick prayer of thanksgiving to the One who is always looking out for us, to acknowledge His guidance and aid through all our difficult times, and the part he plays in all our successes.

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