When we are thankful

May 25, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


Sorry there was no Friday email last week… was scrambling to get out of town to speak at a camp for a children’s home.

I got one message in. And then we were playing a volleyball game later that night and I got short of breath and felt really weird. We wound up calling 911. A friend from the group stayed with me all night long at the ER. All tests came back normal.

Went and saw my cardiologist this week and saw his nurse practitioner. She told me my blood pressure was elevated and she was going to put me on blood pressure medication.

My wife went with me to this visit. As we walked across the parking lot to our car, I was bothered and self-absorbed. She could tell I was thinking deeply about something and said, “What’s wrong?”

“I’m just absorbing everything,” I muttered.

All kinds of things are running through my head… I have spent most of my life running around with young people and even still get some opportunities to do camps and retreats with young people… and now I have to go on blood pressure medicine?

Now… I have friends who have severe brain cancer that are in pain every day; I have a friend who was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer; my sister-in-law had a kidney transplant this year and has to see all kinds of doctors; another friend of mine had a liver transplant this past year; I have friends whose wives have cancer; I have friends who have lost their wives to cancer; I have one friend who has lost two wives to cancer… And I am upset because I have to go on low-dose blood pressure medication?

When we lose thankfulness, and thankfulness for what we have, it opens up the door to be bothered and self-absorbed… and to lose perspective. It is a downhill slide.

But … it lifts our hearts and gives us appreciation. It restores compassion to our hearts for those who are walking a much more difficult path, and instead of looking at ourselves, it enables us to genuinely love them and appreciate them.


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].