... of how much I need to work on that! My good daughter Katie, mentioned the phrase the other day that we need to have an "Attitude of Gratitude" and it really made me think.
You know, I haughtily think I am grateful most of the time because I do, in my mind, thank Heavenly Father for little bits and bobs, like the lovely sunrise, my warm blankets, a good family, a deeply caring husband... well, you know.
However, I have not been thankful for upset in my life, for anger directed at me - for mistakes I make that humble me and let me know how far I need to grow to become like my Savior, for headaches that remind me I am still alive and my nerves are working, and more. Do I thank Him for those trials that make me want to leave the planet sometimes, but then help me yearn to be more like Christ?
What a painful journey this can be at times.
It's a long road to walk without stumbling over the rocks and broken glass in our path, but we can with humility, and as we pray to see and love others as our Savior and Heavenly Father love us. The humility is the problem. I am thankful that this Christmas, I was humbled to the ground.
To develop that 'Attitude of gratitude' we must be humble, teachable, open to correction, and perhaps most of all, we must express gratitude to others. We read of this lesson in Luke:
"And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."
Does it not amaze you that this good man did not just run away, thankful in his heart that he was cleansed, astounded perhaps and so happy like the others? This man took the time to come back, to fall down humbly upon his face and thank the Savior and Heavenly Father with all his heart.
Why is this story even in the Bible do you suppose? Yes, to show us Christ can heal, and to remind us to say thank-you, but I feel there is even more to it than that. It's there to make sure we verbalize, out loud, and with our actions, to show our deep gratitude to God, and to others who do good things for us.
This man knew why he was healed, he KNEW it was a blessing from God and he had great faith and he wanted to talk to the Savior about it. So, the Lord made sure he knew that he not only was cured from his leprosy, but he had been 'made whole' in so many ways because of his faith. His actions showed he was filled with faith, gratitude and humility, and because of those qualities would be free from so many burdens of pride and sin, and he would be whole.
In our society today, many feel entitled to things others have. The 'nine' were healed, but they ran off, almost as though some of them felt they should have been healed since they asked for it. Not a lot of gratitude there.
Are we like that sometimes?
It's ok- we are here to learn and grow and change to become more like the Savior who was always grateful.
Today we look around us, and see so many with the 'things' of the world. We wonder if we would be happy if we had those 'things'. We hope we get them! I heard a talk by Mary Ellen Edmunds, a woman I love. She was talking about 'stuff', how we can never have enough of the things we don't need, to try to fit in our homes, to show off to people who don't really care. I wish I could find her exact words, but she is right. Instead of striving for the world's 'stuff', we need to be search for and reaching for spiritual 'stuff'-- the true good stuff, the things that can humble us and turn us into the people of God we need to become.
Also, an interesting insight from Rulon D. Pope in his article 'Free Riding and Gratitude'
"We live in an age and society where hope becomes expectation, and expectation turns quickly into entitlement. When we feel "entitled" to much, there is little room for gratitude to God or to anyone else."
Do I feel entitled in various aspects of my life?
What can I do to rid myself of feeling that way?
I think the answer is 'gratitude'-- not just a quick 'thanks', but a deep, heartfelt emotion of gratitude on all of it's levels for everything, for the horrid trials we wade through, as well as for the obvious.
* May we all take the time, as the healed leper did, to go back to the Savior and thank Him for those blessings, not matter how large or small.
* May we live our lives so others will want to come unto Christ.
* And may we strive each moment of every day to develop an 'Attitude of Gratitude'.
Hug the ones you love this day. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them being in your life, and be sure to thank your Heavenly Father for them.