AMIDST our current COVID-19 Health Crisis each brand new day should be greeted with thanksgiving. “Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever” (Ps. 106:1). Gratitude fills our heart as we realize the wisdom and forethought God has in giving us what we need. If we don’t have it, perhaps we don’t need it. If God wants us to have something, we remember that nothing is impossible with God. What we have is shared with us by God and we appreciate his trust in us to be stewards of the good things of life. Our thanks to God are an offering in itself. It is our way of responding to the relationship founded upon God’s love.
Most often we only see the things WE DON’T HAVE and fail to appreciate the THINGS THAT WE HAVE thus bitterness and resentment characterizes the way we live each day. So let us begin each new day by being grateful for all the blessings we have received in the past so that we chart our course in the future with a smile in our heart.
Indeed, God has given us every single thing in our life. Thus we shouldn’t take anything for granted. We should realize how God’s action and control has made everything happen in our life. Gratitude is born out of trust because the ultimate trust is letting go of the control. God is in control. When you realize that God is in control and He has given everything as a gift, gratitude is born.
The opposites of gratitude are greed and envy. Greed and envy are qualities in our world that are destructive to gratitude because greed and envy want more, more, more. With gratitude we say, “I am not trying to seek what I don’t have. Rather, I appreciate what I already have.” It changes the focus. It’s like taking a 180-degree turn in gratitude. You start seeing a different picture.
Thus, we say, “I have this and I have that.” In focusing on the things we don’t have our desire is filled with covetousness, with avarice or with wanting more. But in appreciating what we have we begin to say, “I don’t need so much. I can live with less.” That’s what gratitude does. It helps us realize we can have less. We don’t have to have all that we want. Instead, we say “I have enough. In fact, I have too much already. Look at all God’s given me!” We start to take an inventory of everything we have and we say “I have more than I’ve ever needed!” Then we begin to realize, when we compare what we have to what other people have, that: “I am blessed. I am truly blessed.”
So when people ask me for what I am truly grateful for, my straight answer is Faith, Family and Friends. The greatest gift is our relationship with God and our loved ones. People are more important than things. We come to accept that God has given us just what we need. We come to believe that God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God’s way of providing is for our own good. Our detachment from material goods places them in their proper perspective. We appreciate them for what they are –– a gift.
So allow me to express such gratefulness by sharing a poem I wrote in thankful appreciation to all of you for making my life truly meaningful that I can look forward to a momentous life ahead:
“Thank You” are words so often neglected,
When being self-absorbed and overly conceited.
Our sense of gratitude just slips our mind,
When kindness takes a lonely seat behind.
Let me take then this opportunity,
To thank you so in all sincerity.
Thanks for your hello, praise and little smile;
They ease tension and make my days worthwhile.
Thanks for your love, company and concern,
They turn life’s path to joy and fun to learn.
Thank you dear One for the gift that is YOU,
For you made me a better person, someone entirely new.
Be it “Thank You”, “Merci”, “Arigato” or “Salamat”;
It echoes a thankful heart within an endless knot.
You are truly our Heavenly Father’s blessing in my life,
Ever grateful will I be in good times and in strife.
Everything we have is a gift. God gives and we receive. Then on our part we learn how to give. Just as God gives us everything, we too, need to learn to give as part of this spirituality. This is not an intellectual process. These are actions that come from our heart. This is very moral. So in this spirituality, gratitude means we need to be thankful. You cannot just think thankfulness. We have to act out being thankful.
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