“Now thank we all our God, with heart, and hands and voices, who wondrous things hath done, in whom his world rejoices; who from our mother’s arms hath blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.” ~ Hymnbook 1982
There are so many thoughts wandering around my mind today that I can’t seem to choose one or make them fit together in order to write. I feel like Ann Lamott, author of the book, “Help, Thanks, Wow”, when she says, “My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone.” That’s a good idea. I’m sure I could really get lost in there, today, but I think I will choose to write about gratitude since it is November.
A fragment of today’s lessons caught my attention, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven’” ~ Matthew 16: 18-19. The last part really grabbed me. Even though, I’m pretty sure this was not what Jesus meant when he spoke, I read several meditations this week stating that all things are connected in the world of spirit. All of our thoughts and words of gratitude, peace, and love, along with our prayers, can help change the world into the promised Kingdom of God on earth. Our thoughts, words, etc. of anger, judgement and hate will be loosed into the world, also. Even our thoughts have power. What we do, say and even think, matters. God help us. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
So, what does this have to do with gratitude? I said that I’m having trouble fitting my thoughts together. It’s a good thing I need to write. I read an interesting article from the field of neuroscience about what gratitude does for the person who is grateful—who looks for and finds those things each day for which they are, and who thinks on these things. It said that having gratitude makes changes in the brain chemistry that brings feelings of peace and well-being to him or her. Also, I believe that being grateful reminds us that there is a God and it’s not us. Moral – if you are down in the dumps, look for and find that for which you are grateful and thank God for it. See what it does for your spirit.
Today, I am grateful for God’s Grace. Love. Freedom. Family. Friends. Blue sky. Sun. Jesus. Forgiveness. Shelter. Kingdom signs: A policeman bought shoes for a homeless, shoeless, man. A neighborhood in Denver got together to rent a house for a panhandler and his family who were living in a motel. They are now working on getting together enough money to pay the rent for a whole year. Those who work to feed the hungry of our town and all who help those with limited options. Thank you, Jesus. Just writing about it helps.
For what are you grateful, today. What did you see today that was beautiful? Remember it. Savor it. Thank God for it.
”Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie