When I was 13 years old, I learned a lesson in gratitude I’ve never forgotten.
“Thank you mighty much” were the words Ed Sargent shouted to every person as they left Hillcrest Food Market in my hometown of Eastland, Texas, a town of 3,000 counting horned toads.
Ed appreciated his customers and everyone walked away with something free. For the grown ups, perhaps it was the Coke machine that wouldn’t take their money. For the kiddos, it was “don’t forget your surprise” as they reached their tiny arms into the large jar of bubble gum.
“It’s tough for the seeds of depression to take root in a grateful heart.”Andy Andrews
Gratitude leads to a sense of value, which leads to a sense of responsibility.
My talented friend Brian Yeager spent some time away for the holiday and returned with a fresh sense of gratitude, value, and responsibility. He shared these thoughts with his team:
“It just reminded me how much what we do is INCREDIBLY important. Every time that mic is opened, that we are connecting, giving people an experience. We inspire and entertain. We share life. We are their friend when they have none. We are the love of Jesus. And just filling up breaks with meaningless words is simply CRAP. Don’t do it. Don’t do it ever.
While I was gone I got to see old college friends I haven’t seen in a decade. Two friends personify our approach and “their” approach. “Bob” was great to see. He has done a lot of things I’m excited about. But, I left the time hanging out feeling a little like the conversation was empty. He never asked about me. We talked about him.
My next friend, “John,” was a lot of fun to talk about. His life is very interesting. He’s done some amazing things. His wife has done some great youth ministry. He also asked me about what I do. We had a real conversation. It was fun. I learned about him. He learned about me. I felt validated and valued as a person.
“Bob” is like a LOT of radio stations – like the one I listened to. It’s crap.
“John” is what we want to do. Let’s talk about them. Let’s love on them. Let’s bring their life to the forefront.
Let’s not waste a moment we open up the microphone.”
Brian the radio guy and Ed the grocer have something in common. Each has a sense of gratitude and responsibility.
For Ed the grocer that sense of responsibility showed up in delivering groceries free of charge to the elderly and shut-ins in my small West Texas hometown. Watching Ed Sargent was a life lesson for me, that 13-year-old stock boy who got to ride along on those grocery deliveries – including to my very own grandmother.
And Thank You Mighty Much!