It is important that we trace our benefits back to their source and express our thanks to the One ?from whom all blessings flow,? rather than merely to feel a vague stirring of gratefulness that results in nothing real. I once lived with a fine old couple, neither of whom was a Christian, and I was impressed with the profound sense of gratitude they felt for everything they possessed. When the winter winds moaned through the trees and made the old house tremble, the old man would smile and say, ?Ah! How good it is to have a warm place to sleep on a night like this.? And the mother would often speak of her large family, now grown and scattered: ?How grateful I am that they are all healthy and all mentally sound. I am so thankful.? Their gratitude was genuine. Of that there could be no trace of a doubt, but I often wondered who was the recipient of it. Whom were they thanking? They never said. The irreligious world has its own way of reacting. When things ?break? fortunately for a businessman, an athlete or a politician he will slap his hands together and shout, ?Great! Wonderful!? He is thanking someone; but whom?
It could be that the old couple of whom I speak were actually meaning to express their thankfulness to God, and that the modern man who shouts his pleasure at his lot in life secretly feels his indebtedness to God; the trouble is that they were and are ashamed to direct their gratitude pointedly to One with whom they are not acquainted. They flee like Adam and hide among the trees of the garden rather than face up to the God they know they have offended. Fear of being thought queer sometimes leads people to express religious ideas in generalities instead of in concrete terms.