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Thanks-giving Needs a Little Friction

11 Nov Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Thanks-giving Needs a Little Friction
Thanks-giving Needs a Little Friction
 

We live in a “globalized, de-frictionalized, broadbanded” world, or that’s what I read in a Forbes.com article the other day. Yes, I was reading a Forbes article. You know, we camp directors have to keep up on our global-economic awareness. Of course, it is not difficult to be connected to the rest of globe nowadays. From our handheld devices to our personal computers the distance between anyone at any time feels almost microscopic.

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Those three poignant descriptors – globalized, de-frictionalized, and broadbanded – stuck a chord with me as I think about moving into a seasons of Thanksgiving. In some sense, they almost seem to coincide with our Thanksgiving rituals of over-indulgence, community through football-watching, and the trample-shopping that is Black Friday. All this got me thinking…

In the midst of our ever-busy lives that now include a few billion more people at our fingertips, we need to be truly thankful for the local, personal relationships that are full of friction. When it comes to saying “Thank you”, I’ve got to say I’ve had some great examples in my life, and before we slip off into another turkey and carb induced coma, here are three ways to care for souls in our non-stop, turducken-eating, digital world:

1. From Social Media to Social Meeting

Last week I had a surprise visitor. A young man who served here at camp for a weekend last year as part of a work group stopped by to catch up. We sat by a campfire and he told me his story. God had used that work weekend to change his heart, change his career and change his life. Wow! All that from a weekend of moving, prepping and coating over 100 sheets of plywood with polyurethane.

What a blessing to hear his story and his praise for what God had done here at Arrowhead.

In ministry we often hear people share their stories; stories of life change, heart transformation and God’s goodness through the messiness of life. These are stories worth keeping and passing on. I asked this young man if he would write down the story he shared with me so I could share it with others.

  • Write down stories, quotes and conversations. If you’re like me, you’ll forget them if you don’t.
  • Ask someone to write it down for you so you can share it with others.

2. Stop “Liking” and Start Blessing

If you look around my office, page through my Bible or found my keepsake box in the basement closet, you will find a hodgepodge of notes, cards and letters. They range from lengthy letters of encouragement to simple “thank you’s”. They were a timely encouragement and continue to be a timeless blessing to me. The impact of a written word and the time invested to give it is tremendous.

  • Keep a stash of thank you notes in your desk.
  • Create your own card or repurpose one from the store.
  • A 3×5 card or post it note shows you couldn’t wait to let someone know how much they mean to you or how much you appreciate what they have done.

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3. Wise Men Bring Good Gifts

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are spontaneous and some are well planned. You can find them online, in an antique shop, at the thrift store or standing in line at the grocery store. The impact of a gift is the shared knowledge between two people. Meaningful gifts mean you know the other person… and that speaks just as loud as the gift itself.

  • The next time you are out to eat grab a gift card and stick it in your wallet. The gift of a meal or a cup of coffee always comes at a good time.
  • Keep an eye out for the little things. Yard sales, flea markets and convenience stores have the strangest items. These unique gifts make people say, “Where did you find it? I love it. You really know me, don’t you.”
  • Keep a case of water in your car. A bottle of water is a surprisingly refreshing gift.
  • Take advantage of our global connectedness. Buy a gift online and have it shipped directly.
Ben Myers
Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp
Ben Myers has served as the Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA for the past 13 years. Arrowhead is a ministry committed to discipleship through its programs for adults with developmental disabilities, missions opportunities for youth groups, and mentoring of High School and College students. Ben also teaches as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and holds degrees from Cairn University and Baptist Bible Seminary.