Saturday, November 18, 2017


Yes Sir, Please.. Thank You

It was a rare event, almost as if those watching had travelled several decades back in time. It was a quick and simple interaction that left the waiter pleasantly surprised and wishing more people were like the young man he had just served.  It happened in a small town restaurant. The young man who had just been seated was approached by the waiter who offered him a cup of coffee.  The young man responded with these five words; “Yes sir, please, thank you.” 

The waiter had become so accustomed to customers just grunting, saying, “yeah” and sometimes including a “please” or “thank you”, but this patron pulled out all the stops.  Although the waiter enjoyed the respect and pleasantness that the young man brought to the diner, those five words probably did more for the patron than they did for the waiter. 

·        “Yes sir”, reminded the young man that he should value the person who was about to bring him his breakfast.

·        “Please”, reminded him that he was not better than the waiter and that he did not have a right to be demanding or demeaning.

·        “Thank you”, reminded the young man that he was being blessed by being served and that not a lot of people in the world have the luxury of drinking coffee at a nice breakfast cafe.

While it may be true to say that “kind” people are polite, one could make a good case that being polite is what makes people kind.  What someone says changes how others think about them.  With that in mind, a wise person will not wait for everything to be perfect before expressing their respect and appreciation.  Instead they will express respect and appreciation in order to savor the goodness of life and in order to insure that goodness can spill over into the lives of those around them.  Such kindness will not go unnoticed, and its greatest benefit may go to the person going of their way to express that kindness 

As we approach Thanksgiving, we would do well to recognize that we do not thank God and others just to be polite, we do it in order that we might fully enjoy what we have been given by choosing to be grateful rather than greedy, demanding or grumpy.  This principle holds true in all our conversations with God.  When we pray, our approach will not only affect how God hears us, but it will affect the way we experience life.

We worship God to remind ourselves who He is.

We say “please” when we pray because it reminds us that God owes us nothing.

We thank God for what He has done, not to talk Him into continuing to be nice, because He will be good no matter what we say or do.  We say “thank you” to remind ourselves that God blesses us in many ways.  When we thank Him properly it help us redirect our minds from all the things we think we need or all the things that we wish were going better toward all the things He has provided and all the situations that have gone well. 

Give it a try.  Be polite in order to adjust your own spirit rather than being polite in order to please or impress others.  Thanksgiving isn’t just a day to overeat and root for your ball team; it is a day to adjust our attitudes and savor everything that is good about life, knowing that they are all undeserved gifts. The next time God does something for you or makes you an offer, say something like,  “Yes sir, please… thank you.”

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