If you knew me then in my fitful forties, you’d never know how miserable I was. I had sunk into depression so deep that self-destruction was on the table.
A wise counselor, the late Gib Martin, let me dump on him: “I’ve tried to obey God in my personal life, family and career, but it’s gotten me nowhere.” He challenged me to give God thanks for absolutely everything, even what was causing my steep, headfirst slide.
Gib asserted that only “mature” followers of Christ could say, and mean it, “Jesus Christ IS my life.” Before I could remind him that I’m a Christian, he cited Paul: “To me, living is all about Jesus Christ, and dying is just more of Him!”
For a few weeks I GAVE God what He wanted to hear, plus some adjectives and expletives I’d picked up working at KJR and KISW. Eventually I reviewed how God had often walked with me through my parents’ terrible marriage, leaving home for good at 15 and a broken engagement. Nevertheless, I was so blessed with a loving, beautiful, wise wife, three perfect children, two houses and a boat. At that point my GIVING thanks became BEING thankful.
Within a week a friend brought me my first client, saying, "Get your new business cards and stationery at the printer. It’s my gift for your new ad agency" … which Liz and I operated for the next thirty-three years … always BEING exceedingly thankful.