Wednesday, March 31, 2010

GRATITUDE


We need to develop an attitude of gratitude, an appreciation for the gift of life. One of America's most influential Protestant spokesmen of the nineteenth century, Henry Ward Beecher, said, "If one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes, and search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it and how would it draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction. The unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessing. Only the iron in God's sand is gold!"
The grateful heart is a magnet that attracts more blessings. How is this possible? Well, the blessings were always there; we just didn't see them. Gratitude clears the haze that obscures the gifts surrounding us. To be enlightened is to live a life of gratitude. Or, as Johannes A. Gaertner wrote, "To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."
Are you living in a garden of abundance and joy or in a barren wilderness? Whatever your situation, Sarah Ban Breathnach explains why it is as it is: "Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend.. when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present -- love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure -- the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth."
-Chuck Gallozzi

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