Years ago in college I was a part of a musical called Bright New Wings, and was able to play the character of the healed leper. The story is in Luke 17, where Jesus heals 10 lepers, yet only one returns to thank Him:
As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” (Luke 17:11-19)
This story illustrates the importance of being thankful for things that others may take for granted. To me, it also speaks of the importance of living in the moment. How many times do we carry on about our business, neglecting the wonder of the moment we are in? Perhaps that is what happened to the other nine lepers. Selfishness and a casual attitude toward Christ kept them from returning to give thanks.
I believe that during this time of Thanksgiving, we need to put into practice what we have learn learned. Act on it. How about today, each of us finding five people and thanking them for something specific. Not around the thanksgiving table, but now. Will you pick up the phone, get on Facebook, or write a note to someone you are truly thankful for? Tell them specifically why you are thankful for them (and no, just for “being you” isn’t specific enough). Your Thanksgiving weekend will get off to a fantastic start, and maybe have more to talk about around the table.