By Patrick Hawthorne
Coming into work this morning, I was introduced to James, a young paramedic student who was finishing up his ride-outs on a medic unit. It was early in the morning and the fire station crew was just waking up and was not quite ready for an eager and full of energy young visitor, especially since they had been running all night. Showing James the coffee pot, I welcomed him to sit in my office until the station crew was ready for him.
Initially, my thought was, “Oh, great…this blows my morning routine.” However, that quickly changed when I asked James how his day was going so far. With a sigh, he told me several things going on his life and how he was not satisfied with his current job working in the produce section of a grocery store. The reason he was studying to be a paramedic was so that he could do something with his life that would make a difference.
Having been around the block a time or two, I asked James why he felt his current position was so unrewarding. As I expected, he felt that putting out bananas for a living was not helping anyone and served no value. Having been pondering on this very subject…not bananas, but being useful in life…I began to talk to James as the spirit of Me’ Ole Great Grand Pappy filled the room. Ok, so I’ve been watching too many cheesy westerns lately, but Godly wisdom did spring forth at that needed moment.
“James…you don’t see your current position as being useful because you are looking only through your eyes. You forget that, had you not done your job, some baby out there might not have the joy of smashing a banana into their face making a huge mess. For that matter, some elderly person might not have had the joy of slicing a banana to put on their morning cereal.” I went on to explain to James that, had I known at his age what I know now, I would have looked at life a little differently.
“Ya’ see, James… I have entered into a portion of my life where my focus is not so much on people thanking me, but people thanking God because of me. For the most part, I don’t care if people even know that I exist.”
“James,” I went on to say. “Because you did your job, I am sure there is at least one person who gave thanks to God for meeting their need. You might never see that person or know that they exist. It does not matter; they thanked God because of you.”
During this Thanksgiving week, take time to give thanks to God for all He has done for you. While you are at it, give thanks to all the unknown people who, because of their generosity and willingness to serve, were behind the scenes in your giving of thanks. Be blessed.
For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. (2 Corinthians 9:12-14 NKJV Bold Mine)