Rudyard Kipling was a great British poet, novelist and short story writer in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Well known for his fictional work The Jungle Book and his poem IF, Kipling. received the Nobel prize in literature in 1907. The poet Laureate earned a great deal of money from his literary works which spawned criticism in British media.
Hoping for a story, a newspaper reporter once approach him and said, “Mr. Kipling. I just read that somebody calculated that the money you made from your writings amounts to over $100 a word.”
Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, “Really, I certainly wasn’t aware of that.”
The reporter reached into his pocket and pulled out a $100 bill and gave it to Kipling and cynically said, “Here’s a $100 bill Mr. Kipling. Now give me one of your $100 words.”
Rudyard Kipling looked at that $100 bill for a moment, took it, folded it up, put it in his pocket and said, “Thanks.”
Our word of the week, “Thanks,” is certainly more a $100 word!
Forty times the Bible exhorts us to “give thanks” The Psalmist penned many poems and songs of thanks. Here are just a few.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.
These verses remind us that God is the source of all our blessings. Thanksgiving begins and ends with God! We thank God for who He is. Our Creator. Our benefactor. The giver and sustainer of life.
We thank God for his character, personality and his nature. God is good. Loving. Faithful. Merciful. Righteous. And kind.
We thank God for what he does. He provides. Protects. And gives. We are recipients of his wonderful works.
When we thank God for our blessings, we demonstrate a recognition of their source. When we thank God we show a grateful heart. When we thank God we admit our need for Someone greater in our lives. We are humbled by our own inadequacy.
Several years ago a cartoon featured a bewildered looking fellow sitting at a Thanksgiving table loaded down with turkey, dressing, hot rolls and all the trimmings. The caption read: “Alvin the atheist realized he was at his lowest point. He felt grateful but had no one to thank.
Christians know who to thank! As we approach our national day of Thanksgiving this week, and enjoy a day of relaxation, a bounty of food, and good times with family and friends, may we do so with a spirit of thankfulness.
“Thanks” is more than a $100 word. It’s the simplest form of gratitude to our God who has richly blessed us.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman