Windows are good teachers, especially if you can’t get one open. I know. I tried to open a swollen window one hot July evening in Minnesota and got a lesson on thanksgiving instead. Little did I know what a breath of fresh air that would be!
I can still see myself that night. I’m crabby and in no mood for a fiesta, but I enter the house anyway. If I stay outside, I’ll be attacked by mosquitoes looking for dinner. Or maybe it’s dessert they’re after. Not even my own humor amuses me.
The din of Spanish is everywhere. My Spanish “no es muy bueno,” so I head for the living room where I hear some English. I find a plastic chair, sit down, and try to breathe. In. Out. In. Out. In. Such humidity! I peel myself from the chair and check the window. Closed! Well, I’ll take care of that.
The house is old and so are the windows. I try pushing the window open. It won’t budge. I grab hold of a handle at the bottom and try forcing it open. Superwoman, I’m not.
“Let me open it,” a male voice booms at me.
“It’s stuck,” I reply, stepping aside.
Within seconds, the window is open. I go back to my plastic chair and enjoy the few damp breezes the open window brings. Then, the booming voice says, “Don’t you know how to say thank you?”
I ignore the question. I don’t like fishers of compliments or thank yous, for that matter. But the booming voice won’t leave me alone. Several more times he reminds me of my ingratitude. He’s wrong. I’m only too grateful to leave his annoying presence.
You can escape a person but not the Holy Spirit. As the days went by, Bible verses about giving thanks invaded my life. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, in particular, ran circles in my head. “In everything give thanks … give thanks … give thanks …”
Everything is every thing! I heard a small voice say.
Instead of grumbling about my job, I began thanking God for it. I still didn’t like it much, but I was grateful. I thanked God for the heat that made the gardens grow and for the humidity that made my skin glisten like diamonds. (Okay, so I exaggerate.) I even gave thanks for things creepy. I was sitting at my computer one day when down came a spider two inches from my face!
Before long, I began noticing something amazing: the more I said thank you, the happier I became. And the happier I became, the more I had to be thankful for. And the more I had to be thankful for, the happier I was. I didn’t know if “happy” was chasing “thankful,” or if “thankful was chasing “happy.”
I was too happy to care!
Copyright © 2017 Marion Amberg