First an apology: this theme has probably been beaten into the ground at this blog; however, it is so important and such a help to stability of faithfulness.

When a faith-life enters the doldrums, or even when it is humming along on an even if unenthusiastic keel, one thing which can be very helpful in ratcheting it up a notch is gratitude. Too often I am so self-centered that I forget to give thanks for the myriad of small things that make every day so wonderful and beautiful. Caught up in the tide of what needs to be done next and how do we manage this, that, and the other thing, and where is my next hour of entertainment coming from, and such like petty desires and thoughts, I forget the importance of being thankful and thus lose a certain graciousness, a connectedness that might otherwise blossom and grow more perfect.

Gratitude for small things inclines the heart to God, or at least so it seems. At very last gratitude for small things inclines the heart away from self and directs thoughts to another. Thankfulness for the courtesy of a held-open door or elevator; thankfulness for the smile on a small child's face, brought about by some trifling attention or by nothing at all; thankfulness for one's faithful and loving spouse, who while showing no great act of self-sacrifice or giving, shows constant self-denial and self-giving in the daily acts of living; thankfulness for gainful employment; thankfulness for sun when it's sunny, for rain when it's raining; thankfulness for the birds, the trees, the clear sky full of high white clouds, traffic lights, hibiscus in bloom, sundials, gardens, giant squids, and living fossils.

Thankfulness helps reignite a tepid faith life. Gratitude moves us from the central, fibrous core of self into the realm of God who grants all of these good things.

Gratitude. Thankfulness. Two indispensable words for one essential reality--recognition that everything I have comes to me as a gift from the fullness of the love of God. Even the words I read and write come to me from Another--One whose love completes me by helping to eradicate me and replace me, still myself, and yet now more Him.

Gratitude. Thankfulness. These too are gifts which may be had merely by thinking about them and inclining oneself to feel them. Grace makes this possible.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 26, 2006 8:53 AM.

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