The Art of Gratitude

Upon reading today’s piece for the daily bread, I noticed that we could extract from the word gratitude, attitude (a disposition) and from the word grumbling, rumbling defined as “a deep, rolling sound” as when our stomach growls when feeling hungry. If we observe our attitude toward our experiences and be thankful instead of pouring our endless complaints, we might have a better outlook on things. This reading is very timely because lately, I’ve been listening to different complaints and grumblings of people about things that stresses them out. At times, I don’t know what to tell them but just to lend an ear to let them air out their problems. Somehow, if they get those things off their chest, the heavy heart becomes a bit lighter. We just have to release ourselves from the chains to be able to breathe freely.

Gratitude or Grumbling

Imagine being given a bowl of sand containing tiny particles of iron from the sand. You have two choices. You can pull your fingers through the sand, searching for specks of iron but finding very few. Or you can pull a magnet through the sand and watch it attract countless bits of iron.

Like the fingers in the sand, the grumbling heart finds very few mercies. But as the grateful heart moves through life, it finds countless blessings, just as the magnet finds iron.

Of all the choices we make in life, few affect us more powerfully than our choice between gratitude and grumbling. An honest look at our lives will reveal which choice we have made. If it’s grumbling, we probably see few blessings. If it’s gratitude, we not only find innumerable blessings–they seem to find us!

Paul taught that a heart oveflowing with thankfulness comes from being grounded in faith (Col 2:7). In Philippians, he pled with the believers, even repeating himself: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (4:4).

Which choice have you made? Grumbling or gratitude? Grumbling overlooks blessings, but gratitude finds blessings everywhere–even in dry, sandy places! – Joani Yoder

(from Our Daily Bread)

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