In all circumstances
Earlier this year, a police officer in Slidell, Louisiana, made what had every appearance of a fairly routine traffic stop. Only after they pulled over did realize there was more to discuss with the driver than originally anticipated.
The officer ran a background check on the license plate and double checked the date on the tags, noticing the plates were expired—by 23 years. That’s right, the last time these plates had been registered was in 1997. And when the man was asked why it had been so long since the plates had been updated, his response was pretty straightforward: “Sorry, officer. I’ve been busy lately and totally forgot to renew my vehicle registration. I will take care of it as soon as I get home!”
The Slidell Police Department didn’t report on how the rest of that conversation went. One might assume he incurred, at least, a hefty fine and a few stern words. We’ll have to leave the rest up to our imagination.
Of course, it’s easy for us to roll our eyes at his “I’ve been busy” defense. Every law-abiding citizen has somehow found the time to keep their cars lawfully registered. It’s hard to imagine what could possibly keep someone busy for more than two decades. And yet, if we’re honest, his words still might be somewhat familiar to us in other settings.
There are days where we find ourselves too busy to eat a healthy breakfast so we grab some less nutritious option on our way out the door. We put off tackling the stack of bills sitting on the table or find time for anything but doing the dishes. Busyness can become our go-to excuse that keeps us from doing all sorts of necessary things, not the least of which is registering your license plates.
It’s rather convenient that there is an entire 24 hours set aside for us each year to give thanks for so much in our lives. No matter our circumstances, there’s plenty to be grateful for. But intentionally expressing thankfulness one day out of every 365 is about the equivalent of registering your plates every twenty years.
My hope is that today is just one among many where we take time to share words of thankfulness—to God and to others. In fact, if the apostle Paul had his way, we’d give thanks in all circumstances or at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:18). If we pay close enough attention, there’s surely goodness and gifts in every day be grateful to God for. The question will be, were we too busy to say thanks?