I was once told of a person who makes such a point of saying thank you, that every time he writes a cheque to someone, he writes on the bottom of the cheque “Thank you very much!” He began the practice some years ago and continues to this day. I suppose that he wants to become a more thankful person, and this is part of his discipline toward achieving that. Perhaps he once heard a sermon about cultivating an attitude of gratitude. He also realized that we do not often let other people know how grateful we are for what we receive from them. This is one way he tries to let them know.
When he pays the monthly utility bill, he pauses for a moment before doing so to reflect on the many benefits he has enjoyed from the electricity he has received – the convenience of electric lights, the power that runs the furnace, the coffee maker, microwave, vacuum, television. Then he makes out the cheque for the proper amount of the bill and in the space on the bottom of the cheque for indicating its purpose, he writes, “Thank you very much for the electricity!”
I've been attending church almost all of my life. At the age of three, I started Sunday School, staying in classes until I went away to university at the age of 18. I became a substitute Sunday School teacher in my teens (it was a terrifying experience for a really shy person). Eventually, I became a full teacher in my twenties and, a few years before going into seminary, I was the Sunday School Superintendant. In my young years, Sunday School was at 10 a.m., followed by the church service at 11. Since my whole family (parents and grandfather) went to church every Sunday, my brothers and I sat through two hours of religion. I've heard of worse cases. I don't remember a single sermon, but I do have vivid memories of Sunday School. I had awesome teachers, every one of them. I was blessed enough to have some twice.
An education administrator went to visit a university that was in the middle of nowhere. That is to say, the university was the town – except for a grain elevator and a 25 employee factory that assembled sporting goods. It was a cordial visit and at the end of a few days there, the administrator was driven to the nearest airport, about three hours away, for his return home. The flight was late, then quite late when a crew member came to tell the man, who was the sole passenger getting on the plane at that airport, that something on the plane needed to be fixed. The administrator was informed that he would have to fly out the next morning instead, but not to worry since the airline would put him up at the airport hotel.
Everyone was very pleasant when he checked in and by now evening was coming on so the man asked if the hotel had a restaurant. No, he was told, but there was a Taco Bell down the road a piece. “Is it within walking distance?” he asked. It was about 10 miles away, but he could call a taxi from town. Since the airport and accompanying hotel were some distance from town, the taxi would charge $20 to come out to the hotel to pick him up and another $20 to bring him back. The administrator decided that he hadn't seen a Taco Bell that was worth a $40 round trip ride (no offense to Taco Bell lovers).
A man goes to a diner every day and he orders lunch. Afterward the manager asks him how he liked his meal. The old man replies, “It was good, but you could give me a little more bread.”
So, the next day the manager tells the waitress to give the man two slices of bread this time. Afterward he asks, “How was your meal today?”
“It was good,” the man replies, “but you could give me a little more bread.”
So the next day the manager tells the waitress to give the man four slices of bread.
“How was your meal today?” the manager asks.
“It was good,” he replies, “but you could give me a little more bread.”