I was fortunate to be the lector, or reader, in church yesterday because when I prepare for the readings, I always get something “extra” out of them by reading the background given in the Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers and Proclaimers of the Word…and this time was no exception. Yesterday’s Gospel reading was from Luke 17:11-19 in which Jesus cures ten lepers, but only one comes back to thank Him. Jesus is disappointed that only one returns. He is a Samaritan; back in Jesus’ day, Samaritans, or people from Samaria, were held in contempt by Jews because their religion was different (they believed in God but didn’t hold to the same traditions as the Jews). Jesus ends up telling the healed Samaritan to “Stand up and go, your faith has saved you.” I have heard and read this Bible passage many times but today I was moved by this message in the workbook: “The nine settled for too little for had they returned, they too would have received the far greater gift he gives the Samaritan; the promise of salvation.” I guess I always thought that all ten were “healed” but only one came back to give thanks, but never realized they were only healed physically, not spiritually; they didn’t bother to show faith in the God who just healed them by praising and thanking Him. It makes me reflect on the fact that, if I rush off to the next thing, taking God’s latest gift for granted, if I’m not thankful and worshipful to God for the little things, I can’t hope for bigger things and I may miss what He has in store for me; if I don’t stop and thank Him when I make strides in my author career, however small…when a bookstore grants me a book signing, when a conference invites me to give a workshop, when a reader says he or she appreciates my book…I will never move on to the bigger things I dream of (becoming a New York Times Bestselling Author for one!) or perhaps the even bigger things He has planned for me! I pray I remember this week to thank God each day for all of His gifts, both big and small, so that I may build my faith in Him and be saved by that faith.