There are only 19 days left until Thanksgiving day but we have our life time of days to express gratitude. This is a principle for a life well lived. Gratitude I do not believe comes easy to us as human beings. Have you ever heard a 3 year old, "Mine, MIne, MINE, MINE?" As much as we are Image Bearer of our Creator, we are also born selfish and entitled or as the Scriptures say, "born in iniquity and conceived in sin." We need to be taught gratitude. Are parents still teaching children, "please" and "thank you" as some of their first words? (I hope so!)
Yesterday, I saw the quote above posted in context. I felt certain that a particular friend of mine had put it up. So, I made my way to her profile on Facebook and it was no where to be found. The one thing that I remembered was "whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude." So that will have to be enough to get me back to writing on my blog.
Let me say right off the bat, that I am grateful for pen and paper. Lately, I have picked up the pen nearly every day in pursuit of the truth and healing. It is proving to once again be a wonderful instrument. I have had a number of false starts over the past year plus but God has not given up on me and so my other writing endeavors have had to take a backseat.
Since my last post, there is much to be grateful for especially the life of my husband, Dan. He is at this time in the hospital recovering from surgery. Modern medicine has saved his life. One hundred years ago he would have been dead in August. We see the Unseen Hand of our Creator at work through His Creation, the people who have designed and created the medical equipment and the surgeon who like a craftsman takes what God has created and recreates and repairs a human body. In this case, I would say that these type of doctors are healers. We thank God for he is The Great Physician working through women and men.*
Let's get back to the quote: it says "When it comes to life the critical thing is whether we take things for granted or with take them with gratitude."
Gratitude has been something that I had to learn. The first lesson happened when I was in a public holding facility for people getting sober who were waiting to go to halfway houses, jail, other treatment or back to the streets. I was not quite 20 years old. Up until that time I was a middle class entitled brat. I did not know the meaning of true thankfulness.
The initial lessons were hard but they were preparing my heart for the entrance of a King. At the time, I just believed that Kathleen my dear friend believed that there was a Power Greater than me looking out for me who was there for me. Jesus burst in like a surprise whose Love was overwhelming and His Grace unexplainable. The gift of my salvation is not something that I need to work at to keep, just like there was nothing that I could do to earn it. It is the gift of Eternal Life, forgiven, adopted, blood bought. The one thing required of me: "Believe!" Jesus was asked by the crowd what they must do to be doing the works of God? and Jesus' answer was simple yet so humbling: "believe in him(speaking of himself) whom he (God) has sent."
When it comes to giving thanks I believe that it is birthed out of our faith in God if we only have a glimpse of who he is and in my opinion that is all any of us have in our days here on earth. (I realize that we could get into a philosophical discussion about gratitude and is believe required. And I welcome such discussion.)
One other thought that came to mind as I pondered this quote is that we can see the results of a grateful heart in a persons actions but that gratitude is an attitude of the heart and mind that needs to be cultivated. It is one of those things that you can talk a good talk but a witness will not really experience the gratitude that you possess until they see you walking the walk. This inside job requires us to slow down long enough to get quiet, observe and reflect upon all the gifts we have received starting with our very breath.
*I could have wrote the whole post just about Dan's treatment. Dr. Laura Lambert is just one of the doctors who has treated Dan. She is a noted surgeon around the country who also has a compassionate bedside manner.