In Canada, I noticed that when I said “thank you” to someone, they most often responded by saying, “No worries.”
I love this.
It’s because I’m a fairly worried person, on the whole. I think that when I thank someone, I’m less acknowledging my own feeling of gratitude and more ensuring that the person knows that I’m aware that I annoyed them. It’s a version of “sorry.”
Sorry I bothered you with those questions about the hike to the waterfall. “No worries.”
Sorry I didn’t have exact change when purchasing that sticker for my son’s water bottle. “No worries.”
Sorry about my human-ness, my taking-up-of-space, my bothersome existance. “No worries” has charmed me, but perhaps for reasons that need examination. I’m not sure my sorry-masquerading-as-thanks has cultivated the best parts of me.
Ann Voskamp has a runaway best selling book that most of you have already read called One Thousand Gifts, and in it she muses about the importance of “thank you” in the Christian life. And it’s not about apologizing.
Eucharisteo (Greek for thanksgiving) contains within it the word charis (grace) and its derivative chara (joy). If it’s joy we seek, Ann reminds us, then we must cultivate a never-never-stopping habit of saying thanks. Thanks for the gifts of grace God gives in this life. Thanks is the key to the joy that we long for.
I’m traveling the continent this year, I guess mostly in search of such joy. I think my whole life has been lived in search of such joy — yours, too, I imagine. So I’ve been trying to be more like Ann Voskamp, more like the Apostle Paul, more like the person that I want to be: the person who says “thanks” a lot. And by “thanks,” I want to mean, “Wow.” And, “I’m grateful.” “I’ve been blessed.” “I love you.”
Thanks to my 7-year old for remembering to change his underwear. Thanks to my husband for taking the barking dog for a walk. Thanks when a stranger makes a bit of room for me on the hiking trail. Thanks to God that the air fills my lungs, that mountain goats exist, that I have two eyes to see the miracle that is Lake Louise.
“No worries,” say the Canadians. “De nada,” my boys are learning when they do their home-school Spanish app. “You’re welcome,” I have learned to say.
I don’t know what language God uses to reply to our thanks, or how to translate it. It does seem, though, that God’s “no worries,” God’s “you’re welcome,” can be seen in the endless blessings that get revealed when we’ve grown eyes to recognize them more and more, bit by bit. Our gratitude reveals all the more reasons for gratitude. A flood. A feast.
The pull on the end of my 9-year old’s fly-rod: his first cutthroat trout.
The smile of a friend as we back our camper into their driveway, road-weary and laundry-needy.
The sigh of the dog as she settles in for a snooze on my bed, right where my legs are supposed to go.
No worries. Just grace upon grace.
Thank you, Lord.