A Message from Pastor Craig: 5-14-2023

Last week I shared a thought that Michael J. Fox articulated in an interview—he said that “gratitude makes optimism sustainable.”  I think that the statement resonated with me (and several of you who wrote me notes about it later-thank you!) because we have found that giving thanks just feels good.  It brings the satisfaction of those things that we recall back to life when we “count our blessings.”  It makes us smile when we remember good things that have happened.

Another reason the statement resonated with me is that I had just gone through colon surgery, and I had read that statement my first day home.  Coming home felt good.  I was grateful to heal away from that hospital bed.  But I also had been thinking about just how many people had contributed to my successful stay in the hospital.

I can’t list each one, but just to illustrate the point – a guy in the parking lot pointed where we needed to be.  Someone registered us at the front door of the hospital.  Another pointed the way to the elevator.  Another received us in the surgical waiting room.  A nurse tended to me as I got my gurney.  Three doctors came through.  Someone shaved me.  An anesthetist spoke pleasantries to me while she shot me up with some potent thing.  Another wheeled me away.  Who knows how many people tended to me during surgery.  Then there was always a nurse and a Clinical Assistant, with a Charge Nurse and a Clinical Manager behind them.  Food service, janitorial service, a chaplain.  How am I doing?  Oh yeah, and the guy that wheeled me out in the end.

Now, I could complain about just how much it cost to support all those people.  Or, I could give thanks that each one of them tended to me in the way that only they could.  I was surrounded by people tending to my needs.  And hold on.  How many people were praying for me?  How many called and wrote, and cared for Janice?  That list gets long!

And who were those people praying to?  They were praying to God, Who presented Himself as the Great Physician while here on Earth.  And how many angels are there at God’s disposal to do His bidding?  Now the list is real long!

I wish it was Thanksgiving time!  I could really impress people at the Thanksgiving table with the long list of things I am grateful for!  I don’t want to forget this by then!  I guess I share all of this to make the point that gratitude does invoke a certain optimism.  An optimism that tells me I am not alone, that there are many who walk with me through the bad times, not just the good times.  Gratitude brings satisfaction and hope, and motivation to keep moving forward.

How are you feeling?  Are there things going on in your life (kind of like me?)? I’m here to tell you, look around, look for good things, and good people around you.  And tell God, and maybe those people too – about how grateful you are.  It’ll change your attitude. 
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Oh wait, that was Winston Churchill.

Naming them one by one,


May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:5-6