The impact that having a grateful heart has upon our lives cannot be overstated. I know we hear a lot about how good and necessary it is to be thankful; but I believe it’s even more important than we realize. Real gratitude is a complex endeavor. It includes having the capacity to recognize when gratitude is appropriate and having the ability to articulate it meaningfully. Some of us are really good at one or the other, but sometimes we struggle with marrying the two. And, this is not simply because we are ungrateful. I mean, sometimes that’s the reason; but not usually. Usually, it is because we don’t spend enough time reflecting upon our lives and journeys.
Real gratitude requires reflection. Reflection gives us the opportunity to remember, to calculate, and to consider the fact that, but for the grace of God, we would all be someone, somewhere or doing something different than what we are right now. But for, one contentious teacher, one extraordinary parent, or one seemingly mundane childhood experience that sparked a flame, which still burns; life would be much different. “Where would I be, if not for Your grace, carrying me, in every season…?” If you and I go too fast, get too caught up, in the good, bad or ugly of our journey; we can forget or simply neglect to remember, that we are so blessed. No; everything is not as we had hoped, dreamed, or imagined. But, we are blessed, nonetheless.
Real gratitude remembers because a truly grateful heart knows that remembering from whence you’ve come is a compelling force; one which drives us forward against the odds. Remembering also encourages humility. It is hard to be prideful when you consider the times you almost aborted your own dreams and the many days you squandered your own authority, resources and opportunities; and yet you’re still here to talk about it. Real gratitude even remembers what it needs to forget; because sometimes, the past won’t stay there and you will have to confront it and put it back in its place; firmly.
Gratitude is an open doorway, for when we have it we also have access to greater levels of God’s grace, love and mercy. Gratitude is not merely an action, it’s a lifestyle. Those who find a way to embody thankfulness in their everyday living will find that their lives are full of everything beautiful. Take the time to consider all the people, experiences and things for which you are grateful. And, instead of simply saying “thank you,” think of how you can live out your gratitude. For it is what we live, not merely what we say, that demonstrates who we truly are. BE grateful.
For what and whom are you grateful? Share it with us. Tell us how you are living out your gratitude on Twitter or FB, use #BEgrateful