Gratefulness. Wouldn’t you like to become grateful. . .today and every day?
Ponder this thought inspired by a TED talk. . .
. . .Is today just another day? No, it’s not just another day. It’s the only today you will ever have.
It’s a gift.
What will you do with this gift? This gift of today.
The only appropriate response is gratefulness.
- What is it?
- Why do you need it?
- How do you become grateful?
Gratefulness Is an Attitude
Gratefulness is. . .an attitude.
First, become aware. This morning you opened your eyes. Did you marvel that you have eyes to open? Do not take your eyes for granted.
They let you see. . .
. . .faces, the beautiful faces, of everyone around you. The young, the old. Those wrinkles tell stories, amazing stories, stories you need to hear for they will enrich you and you will bless the teller of the stories as you listen with your ears, with your eyes.
Second, listen well. Listen to children’s laughter and the coo of the mourning dove and the sound of the crickets as each runs the top of one wing along the teeth at the bottom wing, holding its wings up like an accoustical sail. Nature’s orchestra plays as stars shine silently, diamond speckles on black velvet.
As you become aware, as you listen well, the attitude of gratefulness blossoms within you like a rose in winter.
You Need Gratefulness
You need gratefulness; gratefulness unfurls your petals.
Without gratefulness you are cold and dry and indifferent and alone. And petals ran on snow, first one drops, then another and another and another and another and
you are naked and scared, so very scared.
But. . .you can choose gratefulness. You need gratefulness. When you are grateful, you become alive — more alive than you’ve been in your entire life — your petals bright red like cranberries.
Through the root you drink in life-giving water and you thrive because you are grateful for God, the earth he created, and the sun, the petals, and the thorns.
Thorns can choke you or teach you. You can embrace your thorns — these trials of life — and be grateful for them. Trials teach lessons that you never would have learned otherwise.
Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 2 Corinthians 12:6-8, NIV
Don’t you need gratefulness to embrace the gift of today. . .whatever today brings?
How Do You Become Grateful?
Very simply choose to have the attitude of gratitude every day, every moment of every day. Isn’t this easy to say, hard to do?
It’s so easy to complain and to let discontentment become discouragement, even despair. With God’s help, you can turn it around. I know you can because He can.
To grow gratefulness, may I suggest a few ideas?
- Make a plan. It’s been said when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Your plan needs to fit your personality. It needs a clear goal and process. A few years ago Ann Voskamp counted 1,000 gifts. She jotted the thanking on paper. In the thanking she changed.
- Record your gratefulness.
Write: Jot a word or phrase on slips of paper kept in a clear mason jar or on small stones scattered on a platter or on lines in a journal.
Photograph: A new snowfall? Photograph it. Friends gathered around a table? Another photo. A cardinal? Capture the beauty.
Draw or doodle: With colored gel pens or Ticonderoga pencils, sketch words, pictures, and squiggles to each reason for gratefulness.
3. Check in. Every week read the paper slips, the stones, or your doodles. This reminds you of your reasons for gratefulness and encourages you to stick with your plan.
As you can see, today is not just another day. It is a gift.
Gratefulness is an attitude. it grows. You can become a grateful person.
A Challenge for You
I have a gratefulness challenge for you.
Today make your plan. What will you do? Write, snap photos, or draw? Then select a check-in date, and put it on your calendar.
Today is not just another day. It’s a gift. The only appropriate response is gratefulness.