I was reading today about Kevin Kling, who was born with a birth defect: His left arm was disabled and much shorter than his right.
When he was in his 40's, a motorcycle accident nearly killed him and paralyzed his healthy right arm.
While he was in the hospital recovering from the accident, Kevin Kling learned a life changing lesson about the "three phases of prayer."
Phase one: We pray to get things from God.
Phase two: We pray to get out of things.
Phase three: We pray to give thanks to God.
"I'd been through many surgeries during my six week stay in the hospital. And each day, I would ride the elevator to the ground floor and try and take a walk. That was my job. 9/11 had happened the week before. And as our country was entering trauma, I was living one.
After my walk, my wife Mary and I went into the gift shop, and she asked if I wanted an apple.
She said they looked really good. Now, I hadn't tasted food in over a month … I lost a lot of weight because food had no appeal. So I said no, but she persisted. Come on. Try it. So finally, I said all right. And I took a bite. And for some reason, that was the day flavor returned, and that powerful sweetness rushed from that apple. Oh, it was incredible.
I started to cry, cry for the first time in years. The tears flowed and as the anesthesia and antibiotics flushed through my tears, it burned my eyes. And between the sweetness of that apple and the burning for my tears, it felt so good to be alive. I blurted out, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for this life." And that's when my prayers shifted, again, to giving thanks."
A couple of weeks ago, I walked out of the doctor's office with a good report (my CT Scan was clear) - the tumor had not returned.
As I walked to my car, my eyes teared up as my heart was full of thanksgiving to God - and at times, my gratefulness wells up throughout the day.
I am grateful.
And maybe, just maybe, that is what the celebration on Thursday is all about.
Just a thought for a Tuesday.