Thanks A Lot I Guess

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)

There’s this book called 1001 Things to be Thankful For, which is impressive to me since, even on a good day, I could probably only come up with maybe seven or eight. Well, four or five anyway. Okay, maybe only two or three.

The whole annual Thanksgiving holiday thing isn’t usually much of a problem for most folks, mostly because, after the required prayer before the big meal, nobody thinks much about it for the rest of the day. They’re too busy eating or watching football or washing dishes to give the gratitude thing much thought. This is a good thing overall, otherwise Thanksgiving would turn into a religious event that nobody would look forward to.

But leave it to the Apostle Paul to screw things up. He’s got a really weird idea about giving thanks. He starts out fine enough when he writes to the Thessalonians: “Give thanks in everything.” Though I think he’s a little pollyanna here, I suppose a person could possibly be thankful in all circumstances. The idea, I guess, is that you can be thankful in spite of any crappy situation you find yourself in, probably by focusing on other things which aren’t quite as crappy. In this case, it seems to me, thankfulness is just another word for looking the other way.

If Paul had stopped there, he’d only be guilty of a harmless dysfunction; but leave it to Mr. Apostle to push the gratitude concept to the brink, shove it over the edge, and let it plummet into the valley of psychosis. He now offers to the Ephesians this interesting little directive: “Give thanks for everything.” With the change of one tiny preposition Paul kicks personal gratitude into the end zone. You’d think that a guy who had been lashed five times, beaten with rods three times, shipwrecked three times, floated for a couple of days in the open sea, stoned, and was in danger pretty much from the time he got up in the mornings—you’d think that a guy like that would have a better grasp on reality. Maybe the stoning did some lasting damage.

So now it’s not good enough to give thanks IN everything? Now we’re supposed to give thanks FOR everything? Well, whoop-de-doo. I guess Paul actually enjoyed getting his butt kicked. Sheesh. What a great way to turn an otherwise pleasant, comatose, gastro-orgiastic holiday into a full-fledged schizoid event. There’s nothing like a little dissociation to go with your turkey.

Still, to honor the Pilgrims, Macy’s, and the NFL, I’ll give thanks for a few things that I don’t normally give thanks for:

Thanks, God, for bunions.

Thanks for boogers.

Thanks for medical bills.

Thanks for the moss on my roof.

Thanks for celery.

Thanks for potholes.

Thanks for ringworm.

Thanks for rap music.

Thanks for constipation.

Thanks for general ineptitude.

Thanks for Justin Bieber.

Thanks for perky people.

Thanks for dog poop on my lawn.

Thanks for the smell in the men’s locker room.

Thanks for zits.

Thanks for North Korea.

Thanks for what gives me a headache.


(Now pass the cranberries.)


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