So am I really supposed to be thankful in all things? All the time? That's what the Scriptures say. That's what the mystics say too. Does that mean "be thankful" when things are not going well? When bad things are happening to good people? How could that be?
Everyone these days wants their video, their book, even their blog to go viral. That means they want "everybody" to watch it, read it, and most of all share it. The funniest You Tubes, the best jokes, the newest singing sensation all go viral because we love the way they make us feel. We love to laugh and to be amazed. It lifts us from the doldrums of the moment and we like that.
"Gratitude" has gone viral. It's everywhere. And not just because it's Thanksgiving. I think we have finally gotten it about gratitude. We feel it, we express it, we share it, we live in it....most of the time. And this Thanksgiving Week it really permeates everything. We all mentally, at least, make lists of what brings out our gratitude.
But what about when it doesn't? What about when things are not so good? You know, a little child gets very sick, a teenager is killed in a car accident, there is not enough money until the end of the month, dinner burns, the baby has the colic, you get laid off, someone leaves you and breaks your heart. Do we feel thankful then? I mean, really. In the midst of the yukky stuff, does gratitude pull our heart strings and fill our being?
...careful cooking that turkey BTW...
That is when "finding the gift" comes in. There is always a gift. Right? Easier to say when we are looking back at a situation than when we are in the middle of it. You know the pony joke that reminds us no matter what we are going through, there is a gift in it somewhere. It all depends on how we look at it.
Whether the stone mason viewed his part in building the Sistine Chapel as a low paid, back- breaking task, which it was, or the building of a cathedral, which it was, was his choice. And we are always at choice. So after we give our human nature the time it needs to kick and scream and express the grief, depression, anger, and pity we feel, may we try hard to find the gift in the midst of it all. It is there.
Maybe the next planetary step we can all take after Gratitude is learning to find the gift in all things.... with a little help from our friends, as Joe Cocker says. Let's make that go viral too.
"In all things give thanks." The Bible 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“If the only prayer you ever said was ‘Thank you;’ that would be enough.” – Meister Ekhart