The Gratitude Gamble
We live our lives from day to day, working and living often a routine that rarely changes. We aren’t even aware frequently, of time passing. Events spike moments that are memorable: anniversaries, birthdays, new job etc. Time tends to catch us off-guard. That means we are not always conscious of time and passing events. We may be guilty of walking through life (and time) like sleep walking. We “live” as if asleep. There is a line in the lyrics of a song (1) which says:
“Can money pay for all the days I lived awake
But half asleep?”
We may be chasing things in our lives that occupy a great deal of time and effort but we have become so focussed on that one thing that the rest of life passes without noticing. We may take things for granted in our lives; like good health, financial security, political security.
The risk for us is also not being aware of when good things come into our lives, things we would normally be very thankful for. This then comes down to gratitude. And there is an equally great risk with gratitude. The gamble with gratitude is becoming happy and satisfied with what we have. We may change the way we see life and the way we spend time. This is not to say we would stop being goal oriented, or cease to look for improvement in our lives and work place. But it may mean that we stop more frequently to be appreciative of what we have, and who is in our lives. We may see that what is given by God and others has been truly gifted in such a way that our lives have been really enriched. The ending of the Grace my father says before meals illustrates this: “and make us truly thankful for all your many benefits this day”.
How can we have both? How can we accomplish what we have to do in our daily rush as well as taking time for the moment? Some people will plan time into the day, maybe early in the morning, or before sleep. There are those who make a daily short list of this they are thankful for and add it to their agenda page to be reminded through the day. Some, who keep journals, keep gratitude lists. Which ever method we choose, we need to remind ourselves of all the good we have in our lives. We seem to have an inbuilt complain mechanism and we need to train ourselves better to see the good in our lives and be thankful. We should then cultivate a garden of gratitude each day and so acknowledge the good even in times of difficulty or trial.
There IS good. Even when we fail to see it. But if we work at seeing it and acknowledging it, we will be happier and more apt to see good in the person standing in front of us.
(1) Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hands by Primitive Radio Gods