What’s the magic word?
The context determines the correct response. Magicians pulling rabbits out of hats will say Abracadabra! In the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” Open sesame unlocks the door to the treasure cave. Cinderella’s fairy godmothers use the mysterious incantation: Bippity, boppity, boo!
Other magic words sound much more common but possess much more power, including the simple words Please and Thank you. God’s children learn to use them early and often.
Boys and girls of all ages know the magical properties of the word “Please.” The simple syllable can open doors and unlock hearts. The word typically introduces a request. “Plea” forms the root word of “please.” We use it to plead for something that we want or need and do not possess.
Children intuitively understand the basic “given-ness” to life. Anything children possess has been given to them by someone else. This serves as a parable for the entirety of life. All that we have is from God’s gracious hands. Life, abundant life, and eternal life are gifts from above.
After receiving a gift, the other magic words we use are “Thank you.” “Please” realizes that all of life is a gift. “Thank you” acknowledges that all of life is a response. We recognize God as the Giver. Then we thank God with our words, actions, and attitudes.
We are called to live with an attitude of gratitude. In Philippians, Paul wrote: Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I will say, rejoice! During this holiday season and every season of life, we are called to be a thanksgiving people.
Gratitude is such an essential discipline of the spirit; and ingratitude is such a toxic waste of the soul. Thanksgiving is the cure for ingratitude.
Simply saying “thank you” is good medicine for the soul. There is a deep spiritual need within us that is only satisfied by expressing our thanksgiving to God; and in turn, the Holy Spirit delights in our praise.
What are the magic words? They are “Please” and “Thank you.” Children of God learn to use them early and often. In the process, we discover that thanks living leads to thanksgiving. We receive and then give. We give and then receive. We live our lives in an offering of thanksgiving to God.