How do I show my gratitude? It’s rare at best, I’m sad to say.
For a while I have been feeling that the people of the world are a mess. The debate in my head is whether our human race can get any worse. I can’t help but believe there is a great deterioration in humankind.
It never fails to amaze me, even after all these years, how answers come to me at church. It was a double for me today. The first wasn’t really a current question or concern, just an ongoing sense of dread and sadness for the state of the human condition. Amazingly, this lack of gratitude has been around for a long, long time.
Check this passage from Luke 17:11-19. (I have copied it over from this website: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/112218-thanksgivingday.cfm)
[As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”]
Ninety percent showed no gratitude what so ever! They got what they asked for and kept on walking. Wow. Two centuries ago. And I wonder if we will ever change.
This year my “One Little Word” is TURN. I have been focusing on tuning back, mostly.
There is a list of “Turn back to” ideas.
To the Bible – be more faithful in my studies and daily readings. Our priest started a challenging and in-depth study of the Book of John this September which has been so rich and informative.
To my faith – really understanding what my relationship with God is and learning how to enrich my understanding and grow a stronger faith. I have started a Faith Journal where I can explore certain areas as I wish. It has been fun to add some art to it as well.
To prayer – not just saying a quick recite of a prayer and moving on, but truly talking with God often during the day. I have found a couple of rich books on praying and it has opened my eyes to the true meaning of our praying. “Pray without seizing” I Thess 5:17. Our memorized prayers are a beautiful help, a starting point from which we continue with our prayer to God. I still have to remind myself to share my gratitude with God as well and bringing requests for help.
I still struggle to not criticize or judge when I come across people doing what I believe to be in error. My daughter reminds me “they are not my weed” and so I must move on and pray they will come to know and accept the love God has for them, while I work on my task to ‘love my neighbor’.
If you are still following along with my wandering train of thought, you may have noted that I indicated there was another question on my brain this morning. Last night I had trouble sleeping, and when that happens lots of thoughts, mostly unwelcomed ones, popped into my head.
When you love someone, especially a brand new baby, you might worry about their well-being. My newest great grand is about 2 and a half months old. With the news yesterday of a condition going on with her mother that the doctors don’t seem to understand, my thoughts drifted to this helpless baby. What is something is wrong with her? She is too little to express much more than pain or discomfort with her cries. It seems so many babies have debilitating issues these days. What is she is one of them? The Priest spoke something about this; I’m sure it was for my benefit. So, bottom line is that she is child of God, she is loved, she is and always will be a blessing to my life and that of all her family.
Next year I believe I will choose the word Gratitude.