The words of a ten year old boy stopped me in my tracks the other day. They really made me think about the meaning of gratefulness.
I can describe this word and look it up in the dictionary, but do I actually embody it in my life? Let me explain…..
We own an area of creek frontage which is accessible to people who are willing to walk up to a ½ mile to use it. Many families use it for an inexpensive vacation day. We were enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the creek with our children and grandchildren when a large Hispanic family packed up their gear and walked past us on their way to their car. As they were passing by, my husband said hello and asked if they had enjoyed themselves. The dad smiled and shared how everyone had fun. Then, his young son, when he discovered that we owned this area, spoke up and added, “Thanks for sharing your land”!
Wow! I asked my own ten year old son if he heard what the boy said, and when my husband walked back to us he asked the very same thing. We were equally amazed that a boy this age would speak up in a short conversation, let alone add his own feelings of gratefulness to it!
So. my question – What makes a person grateful?
– Is it owning much and appreciating those comforts?
– Or is it having very little and appreciating even the small things given to us?
We often believe that the more we get the more grateful we become – you know, glad for all that we’ve earned or for the possessions we’ve been able to accumulate. But maybe, just maybe, that isn’t so!
Could it really be that when I have little or when difficulties are plenty, that I will be more grateful and show more gratitude for a simple blessing, for a small joy?
Here’s another important question –
– Can I impress a sense of gratitude on my children or grandchildren by requiring them to say “Thank You” for everything they receive?
– Or do I set the example by my speech, my attitude, and my actions towards the people who share with us, and to our God who gives to us so freely?
Oh my – this humbles me and causes me to reflect on the ingratitude I prove by my everyday actions and attitudes. I’ve often heard that the best way to be a person others want to be around is to be grateful.
How am I doing? And now, how are you doing?
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. 1 Timothy 4:4
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28