Gratitude is a learning process

Southdown Marketplace a shopper’s delight
November 22, 2011
Samuel Hunter DesLatte’
November 25, 2011

The German theologian, organist, physician and medical missionary Albert Schweitzer once said, “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.”

Gratitude is not something we receive at birth. Our parents constantly had to remind us to say “thank you” when someone gave us a gift or a compliment. We developed it or failed to develop it. Jesus cured 10 lepers who were considered outcasts; nine were ungrateful. Yet, Jesus was always showed gratitude.

When Jesus fed the masses loaves and fish, he did not have enough food to go around. Yet, he gave thanks for what he had and multiplied it. That’s the spirit we have to develop. We have to stop looking at what we don’t have and start appreciating what we do have. That is the mind of Christ.

Dr. Gregory M. Lousig-Nont, Ph.D. wrote the following expression of thanks he calls “The Best Day of My Life.”Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did, I’m going to celebrate!

“Today, I’m going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger. I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at God’s seemingly simple gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds. Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.

“Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I’ll make someone smile. I’ll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don’t even know.

“Today, I’ll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I’ll tell a child how special he or she is. I’ll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for her and how much she means to me.

“Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don’t have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me. I’ll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in God and his Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.

“Tonight, before I go to bed, I’ll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures. As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank the Almighty for the best day of my life. I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life, ever!”

The German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer tells us, “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” An unknown author once wrote, “Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.”

I want to thank for all of you, my many readers, who have encouraged me throughout the years to keep on writing. People have stopped me at various stores and churches to tell me they read, appreciate, and sometimes even cut out my articles and send them to friends and family.

Thank you and have a great Thanksgiving weekend!