In 1990, the movie Pretty Woman came out starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Mandy and I saw it and were soon quoting it every chance we could work it into a conversation. It became a game. “Your car corners like it’s on rails.” “Can I call you Eddie?“ “Not if you expect me to answer.“ “I told you not to answer the phone.” “Then quit calling.”
When Madi hit 12 or 13 maybe, we started watching some cult classic films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty Woman was right up there. I didn’t really think it through though because there was the whole hooker aspect. Major miscalculation on my part.
One of my favorite parts is towards the end when Richard Gere‘s character asks Julia Roberts what she wants from the relationship. She says he’s made her a really good offer, but she wants more now. He says, “I know about wanting more; I invented the concept. The question is how much more?” She said, “I want it all.”
I got to thinking about that as I pondered Thanksgiving and the things I am grateful for. If we had to make two lists this year - on one, we would list things we are grateful for, and on the other - things we still want. I wonder which list would be longer.
In the sermon on Sunday, Andy asked the question: "Where does our gratitude come from? Our abundance or who we are as a person?" Are we only grateful if we have a lot or are we grateful regardless of what we have or don't have?
I think as Americans we might be a little hard-wired with the Puritan work ethic. Let’s get to work, get it done, gather it up, more is better.
Lately when Madi calls from Italy, I’ve picked up on little struggles. About how relaxed things are in Italy. People walk slowly, they arrive “late“ (according to the American view of punctuality), the shops don’t open early; they close around siesta time and again near dinner time. It’s a lot to adjust to. It’s a lot to adjust to when you’re American.
I have to wonder though if maybe they know what they’re doing. Enjoying life. Savoring the days. Not necessarily striving for more but enjoying what they've been given.
I wonder if sometimes we get so focused on achieving, attaining, and accumulating that we take for granted the blessings we have been given. I once saw a sign that said, “What if we woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”
We know gratitude is important; we say thank you, and we mean it I believe. But we say it with the attitude that it’s all permanent. There are no guarantees.
I don’t mean to be a downer; what I do mean to be is a reminder. A reminder to hug a little longer, to say I love you a little more often, and when you add things to your gratitude list, do it like you mean it.