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The Grace that is Gratitude

I am walking along, feet feeling chafed along the inside of my sneakers. These shoes are wearing thin. And I feel the many miles I have walked in them so very much tonight. Feel the tired, the exhaustion, feel the weariness. But with the sunset in the distance, the wind at my back- it is a good night to take pause for thought. A good night to think and wonder at the life I have been given.

Even as I call to mind- first the few minor irritants in my day-to-day life; those things that cause me slight annoyance and minor setbacks (and then, later recalling the good- is not that just the way: glass half-full!), I am reminded that these are still gifts for which to be thankful. For we are called to be thankful in everything. Not only in the good, in the pleasant, and in the enjoyable: but to give thanks in everything.

In everything?

Even in those moments we feel we have failed?
In those moments we feel we have been wronged?
In those moments we feel we have been misunderstood?
Even then?
In those moments when we’ve been slighted, offended, hurt or angered? Then?
Even then?

Oh, but yes, offer thanks in everything. For in offering gratitude in everything, that blanket of grace that covers and permeates all, we open the door for understanding more of what we were meant to know about thanksgiving. In everything, we learn. In all our life experiences, we come to know, come to understand. Come to glean meaning about ourselves, about the others whom we share this living space, and about God’s compassionate, merciful, holy love.

So even when we have little to be grateful for, it is still enough. Little is much. It is enough. There is always something to cling to, always something on which to build a foundation of gratitude. Even if only for the little things we count as graces.

When thinking of what we don’t have, let us remember what we do have.
When thinking of what we want, let us be grateful we have what we need.
When thinking of how we have been wounded, let us remember where we have been healed.  When thinking of wrongs in our lives, let us focus for mere moments on what has gone right? For in so doing, we will shift our thinking just enough to allow the room gratefulness needs to make a difference.

And always remember:

“Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.”
-Alan Cohen

One thought on “The Grace that is Gratitude

  1. Love this! I’ve always felt like the most blessed person alive. Maybe it’s because I was adopted at 4 months and so I’ve always been very aware of how grateful I am for living in Australia and being raised by the best family. Or maybe it’s because I’ve had a pretty rosy life. Either way, in the midst of hard times, I’ve always remembered I how much I have. There’s never a moment I’m not receiving – it’s beautiful. And the even more beautiful thing is that when we receive we can give. Sorry, rambling, gratitude and giving is one of favourite topics.

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