The Grateful Life
As we enter this season of thankfulness, I reflect on what I am thankful for. This time of year is important. It reminds us to be thankful. I wonder, why does it take a holiday to remind me to be thankful? Why don't I reflect on gratitude more often?
There are a few ways to be more grateful everyday. To begin, tomorrow may not be here. We are fortunate to receive the gift of today, everyday. Proverbs 27:1 says, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring." We encounter challenges all the time, often we become consumed with the challenge and it becomes all-consuming. We forget there are many other blessings to be thankful for. The first challenge is to look outside of our circumstances and see the gifts God has given us. After all, we may not have tomorrow to dwell on today's problems.
Second is a mindset of gratitude. I don't know about you, but I take a lot of gifts passed on to me for granted. It may be tempting to expect respect without earning it, but no one simply deserves respect. This may shock many. No one owes you or I anything. We must prove ourselves to others over and over again. No one is required to believe you or value your opinion, the opposite is true. Your opinion is not as important as we think it is. No one thinks about you as much as you think about yourself. A mindset of gratitude is being grateful when someone treats me with respect. I am grateful when someone gives me their attention. In turn, I strive to give my attention to others and consequently giving them value. Our time is valuable, by listening to someone we exchange our value of time. We also should be sensitive of other's time. Respecting the time of others communicates their value and our grateful mindset. We must consciously choose gratitude every day. Choosing to be grateful is holy in our fast paced world clamoring for attention.
Finally, any blessing we experience comes from our father in Heaven. It is not based on our will, or our power. Blessing are gifts from God. Every moment filled with joy is a gift from our father who cares for all of creation. He wants to bless us, if we allow him. Gratitude aligns our values and acknowledges where good comes from. "Every good an perfect gift comes from above . . . (James 1:17)."
I am grateful for my family, friends, blessings, and above all, my father in Heaven. God orchestrates the blessings in our lives. Take a moment every day to say thankful and dwell on the good gifts of God. Take a deep breath and ponder the wonders of His hands. Identify your blessings, live gratefully, and watch the blessings grow. It becomes easier to overlook the unfortunate when your vision is filled with blessings.