December 5, 2022

Begin Today With Thankfulness


Kathy Cawthon was battling cancer. After barely having energy to do the essentials for herself, one day, for the first time in many months, she felt physically strong enough to take on a few errands. She went to the post office to buy stamps.
As she stood in the long line, she began to feel rather proud of herself. She thought, “This last year I’ve been sicker than I ever thought a human being could be and still be alive, but here I am. I’m doing things for myself again and, hey, this feels pretty good!”
Then she noticed that two women ahead of her were becoming very agitated about the slow-moving line. They began complaining loudly that they had “better things to do” than wait in line at the post office “all day.”

Kathy thought for a minute, “Do I have anything better to do today than what I’m doing right this minute? Anything better than just be alive and grateful?” The answer was, “No.”

She wanted to ask the two women if they had any idea how many people would gladly change places with them, if they even had a clue what a priceless gift it is to be able to stand in a line and buy stamps all by yourself! But of course, she didn’t.[i]

Cancer survivors tell me that one of the gifts of cancer is that they no longer “sweat the small stuff.” Kathy says, “My response to most things is, ‘So what? In the grand scheme of things, how important is it really?'”

Moses prayed to the Lord, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). You don’t have to have cancer to pray that prayer. Lord, help all of us to appreciate today and use it wisely for You—no complaints.

[i] Kathy Cawthon, from 2008 newsletter of The Cancer Crusade,