It was a quote that came through my news feed. Where many inspirational thoughts evoked laughter or comfort or fuzzy, warm feelings, this one struck like a bullet.
“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” And that, as our pastor would say it, is a holy kick through the goalposts of life.
Eww. And ouch. If the squirm factor was high, it was because the truth factor was, too, and there was something I ought to be heeding.
Contentment and happiness. What we have, what we don’t and how we are looking at life. How we’re seeing…
In thinking about this, it seems that it really is an eye issue. Or, more accurately, an “I” issue. How am I looking at where I am, what I’ve got and what I can and can’t do? What’s my focus?
In my experience, discontentment and ingratitude are the cataracts of the soul. They cloud the vision, distort the truth and make it hard to think clearly. If I must have Hawaii to be happy, then I’ll miss the fun of a day trip to Chicago or, closer yet, an hour of quietness in my own back yard.
It’s also true, since we’re talking turkey, that ungrateful, discontented people aren’t much fun. Whatever’s inside will come out, you see. If the heart is full of bitterness or ingratitude, be careful. That will splash out, and no one wants to step in that mess.
The flip side, thank God, is true, too. When the heart is full of joy and gratefulness, that will come out as well. Those who look for the blessings in life become great blessings themselves. It’s the ones who choose gratitude in the midst of the hardest trials who’ve learned the secret of joy. And joy will splash onto others.