Jesus taught us to look beyond what our five senses tell us to the realm of Spirit, or the invisible, and to give thanks for what we know is present even though we might not be able to see it. Blessing something with the power to confer goodness is another way of saying “thank you” in advance.
There is much to learn in life, but it is best to learn how to live. When we are young, we have little doubt that life holds great promise. We have things to accomplish, places to visit, and people to love. However, it is the rare young person who puts these compelling issues in perspective. For most of us, the importance of spiritual principles and a relationship with God is a realization that occurs much later in life. By this time, we may be somewhat bruised by our experiences, but we need not be embittered, for we can live the simple life.
The simple life is a life of love. This life of love is complicated when we believe that we do not possess love and must receive it from another person. We ignore the truth that God is love and that we are made in God's image and after God's likeness. Love is our nature, and if we are to experience it, we must allow its imprisoned splendor to escape from within us. This is why Jesus commanded us to love one another. No one discovers love by see king it from others. This only complicates life. Life is simplified when we are more willing to express love than to get love.
Spring urges us to plant some, grow some and bloom some. Even before the earth and air really hint at warmth, green shoots push up through the brown ground with encouragement. “You can do it,” they say. “Look at us!”
With all the newness unfolding around us, we may begin to wonder if there might not be something new we'd like to see in our lives. There may be a new skill we have always wanted to learn or a healthier habit we feel would improve our life. We may long for closer connections to those around us—our family, friends and co-workers. We may find ourselves looking for ways to contribute to our community and make a difference in the world.
This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Daily Word®.
Like so many people, I look forward to the holiday season. I’ve celebrated many special holidays in my life when I’ve had the opportunity to gather with family and friends to express our love and gratitude for each other and the world.
In these times, my joy came readily but in other years, when my family was not available or when I was in the middle of a painful life experience, my joy didn’t come as effortlessly. In those times, I needed to make a choice. I knew that if I was to feel joy, I would need to cultivate it in my mind and heart.
"Practice gratitude daily and your life will change in ways you can hardly imagine."
Gratitude, like the law of attraction, is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. When we feel gratitude, we feel love, joy, appreciation, humility and peace. We also attract even more experiences into our lives for which to feel grateful.
Some people believe God is constantly sending abundance to us, but the truth is, God is the abundance. When we ask for something, we are simply tapping into that abundance. It is not our job to manifest abundance; it is our job to demonstrate our abundance, by understanding that God is the abundance we seek.
I have often heard the phrase “In all things, we give thanks.” I must confess that sometimes I have silently wondered, “Really? All things?” I don’t know about anyone else, but I have been met by plenty of people and experiences where giving thanks or extending gratitude was not even on my radar screen.
It is on these occasions that I recognize the invitation to return to a thankful heart, and even more than that, a return to the consciousness of gratefulness. So for the next four weeks, my invitation to you is to join me on this journey of gratefulness, or as the title says, “The Great Fullness of Life.”
Deliberate is a powerful word when put into action. You can be deliberate in moving forward, stalling, even going backwards. Deliberate means intentional action. Using the power and practice of intention—with deliberation—creates a great full (grateful) life.
How deliberate is your awareness of the gifts that surround you every day? The Nigerian Hausa put it this way: Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.
… The consciousness of gratitude—that deep and abiding feeling of aliveness, well-being, serenity and joy—is a singular pleasure that transcends thought and circumstance. It is not a philosophical tenet or a theological doctrine to be debated and honed by rational discourse. It is not just another good idea to set alongside all the others. It is an experience that wells up from the ground of Being beyond the reach of the mind and its conceptual field. The consciousness of gratitude is not so much a way of thinking as it is a way of being. It is not something we achieve as much as allow. One thing's for sure. When you get one taste, you want more.