Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal.
~ 1 Chronicles 16:34
As many of us hurry around to complete travel plans, or seek out that infamous family recipe for a favorite Thanksgiving dish, we struggle to remind ourselves that this is a time in which we are to take a moment and give thanks, and be grateful.
Recently an article in the Daily Health Post shared that when people live a grateful life, they basically "rewire their brain."
The article shares, "When you say 'thank you', do you really mean it or is it just politeness to which you give little attention? Neuroscientists have found that if you really feel it when you say it, you’ll be happier and healthier. The regular practice of expressing gratitude is not a New Age fad; it’s a facet of the human condition that reaps true benefits to those who mean it." (https://dailyhealthpost.com/gratitude-rewires-brain-happier)
How can we live a truly grateful life? For some, looking back at all that has happened in the past can be both a source of gratefulness for good things that have happened to us, as well as, a source of things that we wish that we could forget. I can remember a woman telling me years ago that she had so much "baggage in her past, there was nothing she could do to get on the grateful train."
Recently while sharing with a colleague I commented that I had perfectly boxed away so many things from my past. She then asked what I planned to "do with all of that which I had 'boxed away?'"
I couldn't answer her at the moment, and she shared, "You know, it's okay. You don't have to deal with it today, but when you do decide to open it, just remember that everything that is in that box you have already lived through it."
Suddenly I realized that I could, with spiritual gratitude, begin to explore the good as well as the bad events, the joyful times, and even the moments where brokenness seemed to overwhelm me. I am reminded that it is everything that we have experienced in our life, brings us to where we are today. Everything that we experienced broughts us here to this place.
It does not mean that everything that we experienced in the past was good. It does, however, provide us with a clearer understanding, and one of gratitude, that it all did not happen outside of the loving presence of God.
Once all of our life is remembered in gratitude, we then become agents of gratitude that can then become sources of gratitude for others.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.