Let me begin with a story.
There was a young woman who greatly admired the painting of an up-and-coming young artist. Just looking at it gave her pleasure. The price was too high for her to afford it. But one day the gallery moved and had to let some pictures go. The painting had gone on sale and the price lowered to one she could afford but she didn’t buy it. Because in the move the frame had been damaged and now there was a tiny nick on one corner. She said, "All I’ll ever see is that flaw."
How sad that one imperfection could rob her of the chance to enjoy a beautiful painting.
Monet’s Jardin a Sainte-Adresse.
This story reminds me of how so many of us see life. We overlook the wonderful gifts we’ve been given because of some tiny thing that isn’t quite right. In a part of the world that enjoys such affluence we are likely the most ungrateful of people. Seeing the destruction in Haiti reminds us just how fortunate we are. But how many of us are grateful?
So this year I decided to practice an attitude of gratitude and every day write in my journal 5 GRATITUDES. I am grateful for water in abundance, a warm home, safety when I walk the streets in town, freedom to worship, to read, to talk; for family, for friends…I could go on and on. And perhaps I should. As Doris Day said, Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. Or think of the Pilgrims. They’ made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.’ ~H.U. Westermayer
As the Bible reminds us in Psalm 107:1, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.’
the Angelus by Jean-Francois Millet illustrates gratitude.
Phil Calloway is a comedian but when his life started to fall apart, he wondered where to find the humor. In this book he talks about the choices we have about how we face life. We can choose to mope and complain or choose to find the joy and the laughter, trusting God to provide each in every day. A fun, lighthearted read on a difficult subject. I found it an encouraging book.