One of the really fun things that has happened over the last month is the responses I have received from friends and family about gratitude. I have received some wonderful feedback from people on social media and in person, from family members who follow what I write as well as members of the church I serve. The last few days especially, I have received a bunch of things from people about different places they are being reminded of gratitude and it is connecting with them and making a difference for them. That’s really wonderful. The most recent was from a message I received last night from a member of our congregation pointing to this article from the NY Times Sunday Magazine…”Choose to be Grateful – It will make you happier“. There are definitely things that happen in life that we cannot help but be grateful for – it is a natural response. But that’s not all the time. The rest of the time is a choice about how we will live our lives. There most definitely is a choice in the matter for us. I have learned that in my own life the last few years. There is a significant difference that comes when I am not trying to be intentionally grateful – whether that is grateful to my wife or my kids, to family or friends, to folks within the church, to God…I am thankful for this season of Thanksgiving, but it is so much more for every day and every moment of life. The writer of the article, Arthur Brooks quotes the following poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins…
Glory be to God for dappled things —
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.