paying attention

at small group this past week we talked about gratitude, and i asked everyone to do 'homework'of finding one thing each day to express gratitude to God, and tell him why we are grateful for that thing. it seems like an easy enough proposition, but i've learned that the hard part about being grateful is that you have to pay attention to your life...and paying attention is sometimes the hardest thing you can do.

paying attention means actually hearing a man tell someone how he lost his job and his home, and how he is dreading going home to tell his wife. it means seeing and not ignoring the desperation in someone else's eyes. it means facing those things you fear will one day find you, and not running away, ignoring the situation, or finding some kind of diversion so you don't have to feel the pain. paying attention costs you something.

and so does gratitude.

i know that i need to be grateful for the hard situations in life, as it is these hard things that produce the greatest growth in me. but when you're in the middle of a situation that you'd rather just go away, being grateful for it seems pretty much the same as those crazy people who go around asking others to punch them in the stomach, to prove that they can handle the pain. i don't want to prove anything to anyone, i just want everything to go back to how i want it to be.

but life seldom (if ever) runs on my schedule.

so, i am learning to be grateful for that which i consider sucky, because my own agenda for my life wouldn't produce much, if any, growth. and i will remember that my personal happiness is not the goal. and i will trust in my God, no matter what may come.


Kathy said...

you have a nice brain.
i am grateful for that. :-)

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