It was as a young boy that I first learned the stories of the Bible—and my favorites were always the ones where someone did something brave and heroic, like Daniel in the lion’s den, Esther and Mordecai, or the three worthies in the burning, fiery, furnace.

Everyone I knew loved the story of David and Goliath—and we knew all the details of the shepherd boy who faced down a giant and went on to become the great king.

Unique to David’s story was the fact that not only was he a brave and heroic warrior, he was also a poet and musician. Probably the first poems I ever learned were from the Psalms—verses like Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path,” or Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

One of the verses I learned as a child, and have really come to appreciate as an adult, is Psalm 95:2, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.”

As an adult I have learned that it is so important to be able to express gratitude—to be able to identify and say thank you for all the things that come together to enrich our lives.

Centuries ago Meister Eckhart wrote, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” I think he might have been right. Beginning with gratitude changes everything. It reframes the world in unexpectedly positive ways.

With my old heroes of scripture, I have learned to say “thank you!” to God for his abundant care.

A spirit of gratitude has an impact on everything that we do. Across Adventist HealthCare, we often refer to “A I D E T” as a framework for communicating with patients, family members, and each other. The letters are reminders of the importance of A—Acknowledge: greet one another in a positive way; I—Introduce: politely state who you are; D—Duration: provide an accurate timeframe for what you are doing; E—Explanation: carefully explain and inform patients and families of what is happening and how things work; and T—Thank You: thank patients and others for the privilege of serving them.

These verses above suggest that T—Thank You—is the appreciative anchor for how we live our daily lives. In healthcare, we know that it is also the basis for excellent care and outstanding service.

Thank you for all that you do for Adventist HealthCare in the fulfillment of our mission. I’m blessed and grateful for you, and your contribution to our organization. And I’m thankful to God for the work that He has given us to do together.