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Gratitude


Yvonne
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During a painful growth period, when my ideas and beliefs about the nature of God and my relationship with God began to change, I stopped giving thanks. It seemed to me at the time that if God does not intervene, and I couldn't blame God for the things that weren't working out the way I wanted, then neither could I thank God for the good. I became extremely cynical and hard-hearted. Then my thinking began to change through a very unexpected catalyst.

 

I love reading fantasy fiction. In many stories, when hunting for food, the “good guys” (and gals) gave thanks to the animal for giving their lives so that the people could be nourished and live. I won't say I suddenly was very thankful, but somehow the concept of gratitude started changing from thanking God as the direct provider, to one of not taking anything for granted. It was also during this time that I had a stroke.

 

The stroke was disabling, and consequently, my economic situation took a drastic downtown. However, as time went on, I realized that it could have been so much worse. And I was grateful not for the stroke, but for every morning I got out of bed under my own power. Suddenly, the cynicism began to be replaced by not only gratitude, but a sense of wonder and awe at the bounty in my life.

 

I think I'm nearing the end of this particular period of growing pains (though I don't doubt another will be forthcoming!) For now, I am so grateful for gratitude. I no longer take anything for granted, or at least I try not to. Occasionally I have to remind myself to, in the words of our New Age friends “adopt an attitude of gratitude.” And, yes, sometimes this intense feeling wells up in my heart and I just have to burst out with a great big “Thank You!”

 

Oh - and I almost forgot to mention that the more I am grateful, the more it seems I have to be grateful for! :)

Edited by Yvonne
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Yvonne,

 

i think that is an inspiring story. It seems to me gratitude is very close to connectedness because it sees life more as life without focus on denotations of judgements of good and bad and right and wrong which seem to me to be simply moralistic dictum's of the mind. Whereas gratitude seems to come from an expanded awareness.

 

Thanks for sharing your story.

 

Joseph

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Yvonne,

 

Sorry to hear about the stroke. But, it sounds like you have dealt with the emotional effects very well.

 

Frankly, I think that expressing gratitude in prayer is a reasonable thing to do even if one has doubts about crediting an interventionalist god. It is a more formal way of expressing our feelings than just thinking about our gratitude.

 

George

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A very dear friend, Arthur, turned 94 last month and is in declining health now. His wife has attended various churches all her life, but Arthur only goes because she likes him to go with her. Susan and I have gone with them a few times to UCC and see them often.

 

We've had many conversations about faith and religion, and this past Sunday morning Arthur repeated for me his summation:

"Every morning I say to my Father, "Thank you God, for all you've given me and made available for everyone"... That's my religion."

 

Brent

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yvonne, it seems you are strong enough to be guided and loved by having everything pulled out from under you, which stuns and stings, but you found your center and responded with gratitude. I solute the Divinity within you from which you responded. Thanks for an uplifting story.

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