I read recently that if you journal briefly, just one sentence for each of the five things you’re thankful for, once a week, for two months, your optimism will increase dramatically. As a matter of fact, you will feel happier, have fewer health problems, and even spend more time exercising. There is no downside to becoming a thankful person! So here goes mine. I’m going to use more than a sentence to start my journal with:
1. Christ – I am so thankful for Jesus having revealed himself to me all those years ago, at that surfing contest on that Saturday night. It is as real tonight to me as it was that night (41 1/2 years ago!). I will never get over it. It changed the course of my life forever, here and for eternity. Thank you, Jesus. I run out of words to express. I still don’t get it…why you saved me. But I am grateful, forever grateful.
2. Karen – Thank you God for my wife of 41 years, girlfriend of 43 years, and best friend for my entire adult life (it’s the same woman!). You did a good thing when you made her, and I will forever be grateful for the kindness, grace, love, acceptance, encouragement, faithfulness, integrity, trustworthiness, character, beauty, honesty, and authenticity that she continues to show me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
3. Family – My brothers are a source of deep pride and affection as I see your kindness expressed to me in allowing me to have such men in my life. Thank you. My father, who has taught me what integrity, fidelity, and a healthy work ethic is; thank you God as you gave me a true rock that cannot be moved, who was always there for his beloved wife & boys. And for my children who are always in my heart & prayers. Jason, Rachel & Aaron (and Bobbie), you are the trophies of my heart. They have given me more joy than I deserved, and continue to do so. Grandkids? Wow…Jesus you hit it out of the park with them! Mom…I miss you. I will see you soon. Thank you Lord, thank you, thank you.
4. Friends – What can I say? I have the best, most faithful & loving friends a man could ever have. When I have been down, they have been there to lift me up. When I needed a smile, they made me laugh. When I couldn’t even bring myself to paddleout in the ocean I love, they dragged me out and made me surf. When I was without a job, they offered to create jobs at their businesses for me. You have expressed your love to me through my friends, and I thank you. For my friends at church, I thank you, Lord. They pray, serve, reach out, give, lead, care, come alongside, heal, repair, keep things going, forgive me, put up with me, strengthen me, teach me, stand in the gap, dream with me, and bring those dreams to past. Thank you God! I love my church. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
5. Surfing/Music (I had a tie) – Surfing & music probably saved my life. Music kept me in love with rhythm, mystery, the groove, at a time when the world seemed to be imploding. It brought beauty and stability to my life when so much was chaotic, and it became a source of worshipful expression when I became your follower. It has calmed my life, given expression to pain and hope, and continues to be a vehicle that I can climb in at anytime for a new and fresh ride. Thank you! Surfing is what you used to reach me. Thank you. The rhythm of the ocean, like music inspires and empowers me. The moment my toes touch the wet sand my soul is released, and I experience a freedom unlike with any other medium. Thank you. It has kept me physically fit, and my soul is the better for it. Thank you. For 55 years I have been playing music. Thank you. Give me a few more. For 50 years I have been a water rat. Give me a few more.Thank you, thank you, thank you.