I’ve been thinking about gratitude lately and what it means. It doesn’t mean much to say, “Thank you for this gift” and then turn around and trash it, does it? Sometimes I think I don’t live gratefully enough. Living gratefully would mean taking care of everything and everyone very well all the time – out of gratitude for their (it’s) existence.
Well, I can say that I’ve been striving for that, but really there’s way too much stuff and way too many people, even just in my own little bubble. Personally, I do try to live simply, having too much stuff can be a burden, but at the same time stuff just collects in a family. I don’t really feel grateful for that, but I would be grateful for some help to deal with it.
Anyway, if you think about it, gratitude is a very deep subject. As a society & world, if we could all live with gratitude for each other, that would solve the worlds problems. If I’m grateful that you exist I’m not going to start a war, or let you starve to death, or suffer from lack of medical care. If I’m grateful that you work for me I’m going to pay you a living wage so you can support your family. If I’m grateful that you employ me I’m going to work hard and do a great job. You see where I’m going with this?
Following this line of thought you could say, whether life is good or bad boils down to how much gratitude there is in the world, how well we learn to live gratefully. Have you ever tried to teach a child to be grateful? “Say thank you”, you tell them, but sometimes you know they could really care less. They toss the gift aside and run off to play with something else. We shrug our shoulders hoping that they will see more value in manners, people & things when they grow up.
So today I think what I am most grateful for is grace. Grace is the gift of time, the benevolent patience of the Creator who waits for us all to grow up. Grace allows us to learn from our mistakes and have a chance to try again. Grace allows us to grow and move toward the day when we will know and live as our true selves.