Ponderings: Gratitude

Thanksgiving Day seems like a good time to reflect upon gratitude.  In his book, Life of the Beloved, Henri Nouwen wrote, “You have to celebrate your chosenness constantly.  This means saying “thank you” to God for having chosen you, and “thank you” to all who remind you of your chosenness.”  (p. 50)

In this simple statement Nouwen establishes the twofold nature of gratitude:  to God and to others.  A life of gratitude is our primary response to grace—rooted in God and reflected in the lives of those who have expressed it to us time and time again.

Today, how about following Nouwen’s example literally?  Sounds like a plan to me…….

“Thank you, God” for all the ways you have loved me, shown me mercy, and cared for me—most fully in Christ through his redemption and abundant life.

“Thank you, Joe and Martha” for giving me life and for parenting me in ways that brought joy into my life.  I hope there’s some way for you to get this message in Heaven.

“Thank you” Jeannie, John, and Katrina for blessing me in ways beyond measure and insuring that I will live a life on this earth knowing what it is to be loved in absolutely amazing ways.  And now added to that, Zoe and Isaac, who are are showing me what “another generation of love” can do to the heart.

“Thank you” family and friends—each of you—for showing me the beauty and richness of life.  It takes a community to know what life really is.  No one of us reveals it all.

Now….your turn……..

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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