Let me tell you a story about Rudyard Kipling. Mr. Kipling lived from 1865 to 1936. He was English, though born in India. He wrote poetry, numerous short stories, and authored several books including Captains Courageous and The Jungle Book. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 at age 42.
At the height of his popularity, Kipling was judged to be the highest paid writer in the world. Some stated that he was paid ten shillings per word, which would have been about $2.70 then or $65-$75 now. A story is often told that some Oxford students were not as impressed with Kipling’s talent and success as they should have been. The sent him ten shillings and asked him to send them “one of your best words.” He cabled back simply, “Thanks.”
That is indeed one of the best words in any language. It is a short, simple word of only six letters, but it carries with it a meaning few other words can transmit.
As we go forward in our journey, let’s say it often. Who needs to hear this important word from you? A mate? A parent? A child? A friend? A co-worker? A fellow Christian? God? All of these and more besides?
All of us need to feel valued. We need to know that someone appreciates us and what we have done. It is important to know that we have made a difference in someone’s life. A sincere “Thanks!” can help accomplish these goals.
It is one thing to say the word, and it is another thing to demonstrate it, however. Without the evidence of our thankfulness, the word sounds rather hollow. Words and acts of thankfulness are treasured by those who receive them, and they also enrich the lives of those who give them.
During this Thanksgiving season and beyond, let’s say this important word often and follow it up with the deeds that show it to be true. As W. J. Cameron said, “Thanksgiving is after all an action word.”
By the way, writing this article has reminded me of some of those who need to hear this word from me. I think I’ll start with God and work out from there.
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psa. 100:4-5).