Reminders: An Attitude of Gratitude
by Ardith Hoff
Bill and Joe were walking through a field. Suddenly, they saw an angry bull. They ran towards the nearest fence. The bull chased them. They soon realized that they might not be able to outrun him.
Bill shouted at Joe, “You come from a Christian family. Pray for us!”
Joe replied, “I come from a Christian family but I’m not a Christian. I don’t know how to pray.” Bill said, “Just pray what your family prays! We’re in big trouble!” “All right,” Joe said, “I’ll say the one my father used to repeat at the dinner table, “O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.”
When bad things are happening, it seems hard to feel grateful, but no matter what it is, there is always something to be thankful for. People who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and have a short time to live, are often grateful for each day they get to stay alive and enjoy being with their family and friends. They are grateful for every sunrise and sunset they get to see. They are grateful to know that they can get their affairs in order, and know that heaven awaits them.
Having known a few people in that situation, has brought home to this writer how much more grateful those of us who are healthy should be. Not only are we not dying soon, (as far as we know), but we get to live a full and productive life, and hope to live long and enjoy our lives.
We should not wait until we are facing eminent death to realize how blessed we are. Even when things are not going particularly well, we need to be in a grateful state of mind. It is good for our health, our dispositions, and our effect on other people.
When we are tempted to complain, if we stop ourselves, and adopt an “attitude of gratitude”, we can shortstop a downward spiral that will only make matters worse. Focusing on all the things that are going right takes away our tendency to feel sorry for ourselves and complain.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18