What would our prayers be like if we focused them around the things, people and situations in our lives for which we didn’t feel overly grateful? Thanking God for the things we’d sooner we DIDN’T have…rather than asking Him for things we DON’T have and want/desire.
Would we then appreciate more the difficulty and trouble we see as obstacles in our lives, viewing these instead as blessings in disguise? Would it make us more grateful? More appreciative? Would we realize that these difficulties are things that make us and shape us into beautiful people, stretching our hearts so that they can hold more love?
Would that gratitude that was grown and cultivated cause us to give more love? To be love to those around us- even to the ones we are ungrateful for? I truly wonder.
What would happen if we were grateful for things like the following:
Snow and other weather related annoyances
Dirt and mud and soggy grass
Messes (both large and small)
Inconveniences (make this one personal)
People who rub us the wrong way
Mundane activities (you name one)
People who offend us
People who challenge us
Health and its challenges
Marriage and its complexity
Relationships and their intricacy
Pain and its hardship
Loss and sorrow
What if the pain in our lives was there to teach us gratitude and how to offer words of thanks for each and every moment we’ve been given…as if everything we’d been given was a gift? For is it not?
We are owed nothing. We come into this world naked. We leave the same way. What happens in between is ours to use as an offering of gratitude, as we can. As we are able. So that we can grow in grace and understanding. So that we can grow in compassion and empathy. So that we can reach out to people in our circles of influence and show those people care. Trouble is here in our lives so as to move us toward something. Might it move us to love? Move us closer toward the Author of gratitude Himself?
Might it cause us to be a grateful people?
Making us mindful of who we are, what we have and what we can give as an outpouring of our gratitude.
Might it open our eyes to a whole new way of living?
“I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.”― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
And echoing these beautiful words, I say: I want to be grateful.
For today, for all my tomorrows and for each day that leads towards always, even after that.