At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. So said Albert Schweitzer, theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary. Albert may just have been on to something here. Gratitude or being thankful is a necessary posture in order to see who we really are and how we are affected by others. Gratitude starts with reflecting on who has been good to us.
I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. ~ Psalm 13
We can be thankful for lots of things, we should be thankful for a whole lot more, and a lot of us take a lot of things for granted. Why should we stop? Why do we need to slow down and be thankful? I would suggest that only from a place of rest can we be thankful. Thankfulness is a reflective activity – it requires us to stop, think and reflect. It requires a great level of thought. Being thankful does something to us. It increases our happiness and it creates possibilities and opportunities. It is a wonderful thing to do. Gratitude is about the good.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder – G.K Chesterton
Here’s another way to look at gratitude:
If you see the moon,
Rising gently on your fields.
If the wind blows softly on your face.
If the sunset lingers,
While cathedral bells peal,
And the moon has risen to her place,
You can thank the Father
For the things that He has done.
And thank Him for the things he’s yet to do.
~ Amy Grant, Doubly Good To You
So what about you my friend? What to you need to be thankful for? Have you been thankful? Set aside five minutes now to make a list – your list.
May you my brothers and sisters, this week be bold, and be thankful. It may just help someone – someone who you need to thank. Perhaps by being thankful your happiness will be doubled by wonder.