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Halloween Scar  

Halloween.  It scarred me forever—in a good way.

 I’m not talking about being freaked out by a Freddy Krueger costume (why does our culture gravitate toward such gore?).   I’m talking about a lesson I learned on a neighbor’s front porch when I was a kid.

That October, Dad assembled us four boys one night, and we dug up a bucket of dirt from the garden.  We took it inside the kitchen and wetted it down to the consistency of mud (protective newspapers on the table, of course).  Dad patted, carved, and shaped humorous faces in 3D.  When the mud dried, we applied paper- mache over the hardened faces.  He then sprayed the masks with life-like skin tone and wrinkles, finally fastening an elastic strap. 

So off we went that Halloween sporting cool new masks.  One problem: the eye slits in my mask were a tad undersized—and maybe misaligned with my eyeballs.  So seeing out of the thing was a bit iffy.  At one home, I stood there as candy plopped into bags and a man finally yelled that he'd already put something in my candy bag.  As if I was being greedy and hoping for more. But I simply couldn’t see!

Though the guy was grumpy and it scared me, I've never forgotten that message—to say thank you.  What a great gift we would pass on if we made an effort to demand (yes, it requires that) of our children and grandchildren that they learn to verbally express gratitude.  Not just for a piece of candy—but for anything good that comes their way.

As believers, we love to trot out that greatest of worry-busting verses, Philippians 4:6.  But is it possible we have undersized the role of a thankful heart?  The verse says in everything “with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  In other words, say thanks along with the request!

Is your vision of gratitude a bit like my mask—a tad undersized?  Best get this fixed!  Failing to learn gratitude is a trick nobody appreciates—least of all our Heavenly Father.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016