No Need to Be Saying Thanks – Especially, for the Neighbor Next Door
Ed, my neighbor next door, doesn’t believe in being thankful for much. Ed says, “Best to keep a person’s mouth shut even when you’re thankful for something. Situations, crops, people and the opinions of politicians change faster than light travels from the sun. If I’m thankful for my crop today, it could be destroyed by hail tomorrow, so being thankful today accomplished nothing. There is no need to be saying thanks for endless things in this life.”
The whole thankful thing got started because I said that I was sure thankful for all the blossoms on my fruit trees this year. Ed said disgustedly that I could probably gush on like a sap about a whole bunch of silly stuff for which I was thankful. I said, “Well, being thankful kind of multiplies itself. The great thing about fruit trees is getting fruit from them. There won’t be fruit without blossoms. The blossoms need bees so being thankful means saying thanks for blossoms and bees on the fruit trees.” Ed told me that I talk in rhyme like I’m in kindergarten.
Ed said that I probably say thanks or grace before every meal, to which I had to confess that I haven’t been nearly as good at it as my dad was. He always said grace before our meals. We didn’t start to eat until it was said.
“That makes no sense to me, because there must have been some food at meals you were not thankful for on the table,” Ed stated. I told Ed that I didn’t like fried fish on Fridays, but it wasn’t the only food on the table. I was thankful for the potatoes and bread.
Ed doesn’t give God much credit. The way Ed sees it, if God gets thanks for good weather, he should also get blame for bad weather. If God causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous, why thank him, since God doesn’t play favorites. Ed wants a God who will be good to him, but not to others – especially if Ed doesn’t like them. Long story short, Ed isn’t sure it is worth his bother thanking God for stuff. Ed wonders why he should thank God if God won’t bless him extra for being thankful. Ed summed it up this way – if I had told God thanks for my neighbors I would have had to say except for the nut-case next door. He says thanks for blossoms that grow naturally on his fruit trees.
I understand Ed’s way of thinking because we approach God with different perspectives. For me, my entire life and that of everyone else depends on God. I believe that God has made me and all creatures and He takes care of me and all others. I thank God, for He gives both physical and spiritual blessings. He makes the earth fruitful and blesses us with the ability to work for our daily bread and say thank you to Him for it. I asked Ed, “Do you resent it if someone says ‘thank you’ to you?”
“Of course not,” he said.
“Neither is God offended when I say thanks to Him,” I told Ed.