'We're not grateful because we’re happy, we’re happy because we’re grateful”. These words from Huda’s children’s story really struck a cord with me. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of everyday life, to let stress overwhelm us and make us unhappy, and to forget to be grateful for the good things in our lives.
Listening to Karen’s story about the woman who was ill but still found so much to say thank you for made me stop and think. Do I remember to say thank you enough in my prayers? Do I remember to show appreciation to God for all the good things he’s blessed me with? Listening to today’s sermon I realized that so many of my prayers are requests for help and there are far fewer “thank you”s than there should be. When good things happen, like the nine men in today’s lesson, I often forget to stop and feel gratitude, and to say thank you to God. When Karen had us stop and think about the good things that happened to us in the past month and to remember things we had to feel grateful for I was reminded that there are so many ways in which Jesus meets us here where we live. The co-worker who provides sympathy and support on a bad day, the neighbour who surprises you with produce from his garden, a child’s laughter, a perfect sunny Saturday full of birdsong and buzzing insects, ripe strawberries …
When I left church this morning the world seemed a brighter place than it had when I arrived. Although nothing had changed, everything had changed. I realized that God’s world is always here with us and can always be found if we remember to look through the lens of gratitude.