When grabbed from inside by feelings of deficiency and the gnawing
desire to possess something more…more beauty or wealth,
good fortune or ability…it is almost impossible to be joyful,
claim contentment or share selflessly. There’s one thing
that will reverse our ingrown negativity—gratitude. Gratitude
assures us that we have enough—enough security, possessions,
resources, time, grace, money, food, drink. Gratitude helps us
see the movement from pain to joy and the movement from joy to
pain. Grateful people are happy people, even when they seem to
have less than others.
The hidden word inside gratitude is gratus—which
simply means “pleasing.” Those who are grateful see
what is pleasing in their lives. When life deals us people and
situations that please us, our heart is light, our speech is energetic,
our demeanor is buoyant. The minor annoyances of life seem to
lose importance when we focus on what is bringing us joy and pleasing
life deals us people and situations that don’t please us,
our heart is fearful, our speech is somber, our demeanor is droopy.
Fear, greed, and stinginess begin to steal our joy. Yet, gratitude
still sits nearby ready to be embraced. In the moment we reach
out for it, joy begins to return and we find there’s more
that’s pleasing in our lives than we had thought. We suddenly
feel like we’ve just been strapped into our favorite carnival
ride and have suddenly forgotten how long we had to wait in line
to purchase our tickets. Just try being grateful and see if your
soul doesn’t fly carefree through the air.
Tip to try: Fill a Gratitude Glass
Choose a special glass and designate it as your gratitude glass.
Place it in a prominent place in your home.
a small pitcher of water next to it.
time you feel gratitude welling up in you, add a little water
to the glass.
time your heart is heavy, ask God to show you one thing that is
pleasing in your life and add a little water to the glass for
that one thing.
the glass is full, pour it on a plant that is thirsty for life.
The plant will perk up in gratitude for the gift it has been given.