When Robinson Crusoe was wrecked on his lonely island, he drew up in two columns what he called the evil and the good. He was cast on a desolate island, but he was still alive--not drowned, as he ship's company was. He was apart from human society, but he was not starving. He had no clothes, but he was in a hot climate where he did not need them. He was without mean of defense, but he saw not wild beasts such as he had seen on the coast of Africa. He had no one to whom he could speak, but God had sent the ship so near to the shore that he could get out of it all the things necessary for his basic needs. So he concluded that there was not any condition in the world so miserable but that one could find something for which to be grateful.
For many of us, when there is a slight disturbance in the force of our lives, we tend to forget to look for and discover the things we have. We can always find something to express our gratitude for...even if it is something menial or minor. Remember that God looks for and it pleased when we walk and abide in the spirit of gratitude...it is evidence that we trust God.
Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace. the grateful heart cries out in the morning, "Thank you, Lord, for the gift of a new day." And it continues to express its gratitude as the blessings unfold. Brennan Manning, in his book "Ruthless Trust," suggests that "to walk in gratitude is a way of living that is inclusive, attentive, contagious, and theocentric." He continues by saying, "the antithesis of giving thanks is grumbling. The grumblers live in a state of self-induced stress."
The Apostle Paul echoed these final instructions to the Thessalonians, "give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." The late Henri Nouwen captures the spiritual work of gratitude when he said:
"To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives--the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections--that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to this present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let's us not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God."
Make a conscious choice today to live and walk in gratitude...it will change your life!
Give thanks with a grateful heart!