Giving Thanks

This story comes to us straight from the Good News/Bad News department.  According to an article from Reuters, John Brandrick, a 62-year-old British Man was told a few years ago that he had pancreatic cancer, a form of cancer with a median survival rate of less than one year.  Facing such a dire prognosis, Brandrick's response sounds reasonable enough.  He decided he was going to enjoy the remainder of his life as much as possible. Brandrick stopped paying his mortgage, stopped saving money and spent everything he had living the good life.  He took frequent vacations and dined out whenever he wanted.  At the end of a year he owned little more than the black suit and red tie that he planned on wearing to his own funeral. But time passed and, much to his surprise, Brandrick's health did not decline.  So he returned to his doctor to get a checkup only to find out that what had appeared to be a tumor was merely a temporary inflammation of the pancreas.  Brandrick wasn't going to die at all.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that he had spent everything he had and was facing foreclosure on his home. He told Reuters, "I'm really pleased that I've got a second chance in life... but if you haven't got no money after all this, which is my fault -- I spent it all -- they should pay something back."  At the time of the report Brandrick was considering legal action against the hospital. What an interesting predicament.  To be given your life back only to realize that you have spent or given away the life that you had.  Can we blame Brandrick for his mixed feelings?  Of course it's good news that he's not dying.  But that probably doesn't keep him from being worried about his future now that his finances are in such bad shape. This morning and next Sunday, in observation of Thanksgiving, we're going to be talking about giving thanks.  I think that Brandrick's story is a good place to start, because I believe that most of us are like John Brandrick when it comes to gratitude.  Perhaps you already see where I'm going with this.  If not I'll try to explain later on. For now, let me just remind you how grateful, how thankful, I am for this congregation.  We are blessed with another opportunity this morning to visit with each other and to remember the love of God.  That's a wonderful thing.