Guest Column contributed from Teresa Rohmiller, Director of Finance and Stewardship:
“What Do You Say?”
Since we were very young, we were taught that if someone gave us something, even something intangible, we were to acknowledge the action. More often than not someone older than we who witnessed the action would immediately and probably without thought ask, “What do you say?” Our conditioned response was (and probably still is!) “Thank you!” Think about it…when someone hands us something or holds the door for us or blesses us when we sneeze or passes the ketchup…we respond “thank you.” We acknowledge the “gift giver,” we make a connection between what we have received and from whom it came and we offer our gratitude.
Let’s couple this with our upcoming holiday. Thanksgiving is a national day of thanks for all that we have and to commemorate the first abundant harvest. Though there are many details that differ about Thanksgiving, overall, it is a day to celebrate the good harvest and give thanks to God. We often associate the image of the cornucopia or the horn of plenty with thanksgiving as a symbol of abundance, wealth and prosperity. I wonder if after the first harvest, any of the pilgrims asked, “What do we say?” It was a part of them to give thanks to God for the harvest and all other things as well for that matter. As much as they could pat themselves on the back for a job well done, they were aware that their gifts, success and drive came from God – that God is the Source of all that follows.
As Christian stewards, it is a part of us too. Our gratitude is an irrepressible response from the heart! Conscious of the many gifts around us, we live each day as if it were Thanksgiving – life in Christ is a cornucopia of gifts! When we wake up in the morning or when we greet others or when we merge successfully on the parkway or when we ourselves have ketchup to pass…what do you say? We should and do give thanks. Yes, we work hard for what we have and for what we accomplish, but we don’t do it (or anything) alone. God is with us every step of the way. We must acknowledge the “Gift Giver.” We make a connection between what we have received and from Whom it came and we offer our gratitude.
This Thanksgiving, let us become ever more aware of God in our lives – recognized and acknowledged as the Source of all. For every moment of every day, focus on the good and know that we are abundantly blessed.
“What do you say?”
Article reprinted from Connections Stewardship Newsletter – Diocese of Rockville Centre (New York)