This was published in a Baptist magazine that my grandmother used to receive when I was a teenager growing up in the 60’s. I used to go through it and would cut out some of the stories and poems that resonated with me back then. I still have them in a binder I started back then and still take some time to read them again and again. I wish I had written down what the complete article said.
LIFE ON THANKSGIVING STREET
Encountering one of the healthiest and happiest men I have ever met in an English rural district, I congratulated him on his appearance.
With a beaming face he attributed his excellent health to the fact that most of his life he had been “living down in Thanksgiving Street.”
There are many houses for rent down in Thanksgiving Street. If only we would move out of Murmuring Street, which is overcrowded with thankless, joyless, loveless people and take residence in the sunny, salubrious atmosphere of Thanksgiving Street, there would be a remarkable change in our mental and physical states.
A healthy mind makes for a healthy body, and much else that is good, for as he thinketh in his hear, so is he (Prov. 23:7) The quality of a man’s thoughts has a powerful effect on his health for good or ill. The bible declares that a cheerful heart is a good medicine (Prov. 17:22) and this is equally true of a grateful heart. He who has learned to see the goodness of God, in both prosperity and adversity and who gives thanks always in all things (Eph. 5:20) has a new outlook on life. A changed attitude to life has a wholesome effect on mind and body. A joy which is from above possesses the soul, a joy which is truly strengthening. And we learn by experience the meaning of the words of Nehemiah to a people that were mournful when they should have been thankful and grateful – The joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh. 8:10)
Begin this life of thanksgiving and praise this very day. Meditate on His goodness to you, on his amazing forbearance, on the countless blessing which….
This is a new day and a new year. It’s a year of new beginnings, fresh starts, and new chapter just waiting to be written. This year instead of making resolutions it will be about making a promise to me to work on me so that I can be a better person, better friend, more compassionate toward others and less critical of others and myself, more understanding and less judgmental, and more loving toward others and me.
We are all a work in progress but we are all worth it. This year I am moving out of Murmuring Street and moving to Thanksgiving Street. I’m sharing the poem called “Thanksgiving Street”.
I knew a man whose name was Horner
Who used to live in Grumble corner;
Grumble corner in crosspatch town
And he never was seen without a frown.
He grumbled at this, and he grumbled at that,
He growled at the dog. He growled at the cat.
He grumbled at morning. He grumbled at night,
And to grumble and growl was his chief delight.
He grumbled so much at his wife that she
Began to grumble as well as him.
And all the children, wherever they went,
Reflected their parents’ discontent.
If the sky was dark and betokened rain,
Then Mr. Horner was sure to complain.
And if there was not a cloud about,
He grumbled because of a threatened drought.
His meals were never to suit his taste—
He grumbled at having to eat in haste.
The bread was poor, or the meat was tough--
Or else he hadn’t had half enough.
No matter how hard his wife would try
To please her husband, with scornful eye
He’d look around and then with a scowl
At something or other he’d begin to growl.
One day as I walked down the street,
My old acquaintance I chanced to meet;
Whose face was without the look of care
And the ugly frown that had drifted there.
"I may be mistaken" perhaps I said
As after saluting I turned my head!
"But it is, and it isn’t the Mr. Horner
Who used to live on grumble corner."
I met him next day and I met him again;
In melting weather and in pelting rain.
When stocks were up, and when stocks were down,
But a smile, somehow, had replaced the frown.
It puzzled me much, and so one day,
I seized his hand in a friendly way and said,
"Mr. Horner, I’d like to know
What can have happened to change you so?"
He laughed a laugh that was good to hear;
For it told of a conscience, calm and clear.
And he said with none of his old-time drawl,
"Why I’ve changed my residence that is all.
"Yes," said Horner, "It wasn’t healthy on grumble corner"
And so I’ve moved: twas a change complete,
"And you will find me now
On Thanksgiving Street."
Now every day as I move along
The streets so filled with the busy thong,
I watch each face, and can tell
Where men and women and children dwell:
And many a discontented mourner
Is spending his days on Grumble Corner,
Sour and sad, whom I long to entreat
To take a house on Thanksgiving Street.