I’ll admit it—I am a total sucker for award season. It doesn’t mater if it’s the Oscars, the Tonys, the Streamys – I am there. I can’t help it. I get caught up in the fashion, in the ambiance, in the unknown of whether a show or flm I love will get recognized. I just can’t help it. Now, if you’ve ever watched any of these shows, you know that there’s one thing that all of them have in common, one thing that always, without fail, inevitably happens-the dreaded music that comes on to play someone of the stage when they’ve spoken for too long. It happens all the time. Someone comes up to give their acceptance speech, and they go on and on and on with their never-ending list of thank yous and commentary until a producer decides that they’ve taken up enough time, and then it’s cue the music, get them of the stage! Some people try and fght the power, they speak louder and continue on, ignoring the music until they’ve had their entire say, while others simply hear the music and shrug their shoulders and admit defeat. The music has been cued, time to depart the stage.
Now, here’s the thing, I understand the necessity of the play-of music. We’ve all heard that speech that just will not end, and you pray for that music to start so that the person will just get of the stage. We all know that the networks have time constraints they have to hit and they can’t go too overtime or it will mess with the entire system. So there is a logic to the play-of music situation, yet there’s just something about it that gets underneath my skin. It truly hit me as I was watching the Emmys in September. I watched as countless people, mainly writers, sound techs, and costume designers were played of within thirty seconds, while directors, actors, and big wigs were given minutes and minutes to just go on and on, and I realized that the whole thing was just ragingly unfair. What makes one person’s thank you more valid than another? Why shouldn’t everyone get an equal say? Why shouldn’t everyone get a chance to thank everyone they love who’s helped them to this point?
It was those questions that got me thinking, how wonderful it was that all of these people had countless people to say “thank you” to, how incredible it was that all of these people got to take the time to express gratitude to those they loved, those who helped them get where they were, and I realized, what a wonderful thing it would be if we all took a moment to give our own thank you speeches. Think about it. Think about if you had to write a thank you speech for your life. Think about how long that list of names would be, how many people you would need to say “thank you” to for bringing you as far as you’ve come. I think in our minds, we know that the list would be never-ending, so we almost unconsciously give ourselves our own play-of music in our minds. We think, well, they know I appreciate them. Well, I’ve said “thank you” to them enough. Well, I’ll get them the next time. We play ourselves of because we think no one wants to hear all of our gratitude.
Well, here’s my challenge to you all as we enter into the month of November, as we start prepping our Thanksgiving meals, and geting ourselves into the “thankful” mindset. Make your thank you speech. Make your list of people who you are thankful for, and don’t give one thought in mind to that play-of music. Let yourselves be flled with overwhelming gratitude for every single person who has moved you, loved you, impacted your life. Write a thank you speech like there’s no orchestra in the background to play you of. Give thanks for the abundance of blessings that God has sent into your life, be they in the form of people, places, or experiences that have brought you to where you are in life. Thank God from the top of your lungs that your thank you speech is ten minutes long. Thank God that you are protected and loved and watched over. Thank God for having so much to be thankful for.
Here – I’ll even get us all started. I cannot tell you all how thankful I am to call this place, this congregation home. I thank God that my call has brought me here to do ministry with all of you, to walk this path of discipleship with so many incredibly gifted people by my side. Each and every one of you is on my thank you speech list, because every day, you change my life. You challenge me, you encourage me, you love me, you push me, and you make me see God and faith anew in so many ways. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. A blessed, peaceful Thanksgiving to all of you. Get those thank you speeches started, I’ll make sure to keep the orchestra quiet for you.
Peace it Together,