On Sunday, we talked from the story of the 10 lepers about the importance of having an Attitude of Gratitude in life – thankfulness firstly towards God, but also towards others. We said that adopting a default Attitude of Gratitude unlocks a greater sense of contentment, peace and joy in our lives. It is so true, and it is so simple to do.
For me, by Monday morning, Sunday felt a long time ago! I got stuck working at my computer for a few hours and ended up feeling quite frustrated by my lack of progress and just a general feeling of Mondayitis. At lunchtime I had had enough and decided to get outside and get away from my screen. I have learnt that walking down a quiet street or through a park or by the beach for 15-20 minutes can clear my mind and ease my frustration, and generally just make me feel better!
Also, I read an interesting article recently that outlined some of the scientific reasons why we are often at our most creative and have our best ideas when we take a slow walk and have space and time to think and let our minds wander, so I have tried to do this more often, especially when frustrated or stuck with a problem.
Thankfully, the rain had disappeared and the blue sky and sun had broken through by lunchtime so it was actually quite nice to be out. As I walked down the road and looked out at the sea I had this instant and automatic thought, “It’s an SBD”. It wasn’t a prayer, but really just an observation to myself about the weather conditions!
If you were at church on Sunday you would know that SBD Is shorthand in our family for Sunny Beautiful Day, so I simply turned my thought into a prayer and gave thanks as I walked, “It’s an SBD – thanks Jesus”. Immediately I remembered my own sermon and the truth of the power of thankfulness and as I walked those next 10 minutes or so in the Sunshine I continued to give thanks for some simple things that came to mind – my family, our church, the creation we enjoy, a home to live in, food to eat, income, friends, health and so on.
I have to say, that I came back to my computer and my work with a greater sense of contentment and peace (which was a relief because that means this idea that I sprouted actually works!).
So can I encourage you to adopt an Attitude of Gratitude today! To maybe go for a walk and just give thanks to God for some things that come to mind as you amble along. Maybe you develop your own shorthand in your family for special things you are thankful for.
It’s one of the reasons that it’s a great habit to stop and give thanks to God for his goodness and his grace and provision to us before each meal. It’s not compulsory to do it, but if done sincerely it refocusses us on God our provider and helps us adopt that attitude of Gratitude for even the basic things in life.
Oh, and let’s not forget that this attitude of gratitude can easily extend to other people who do stuff for us. There is great power to encourage others by expressing our gratitude.
At OCC let’s be thankful people!
PS. By the way, also on my little walk I had a good idea for how we can do another Month of Prayer via SMS this coming January. More about that closer to the time. I really do think there is something in the fact that good ideas or clarity often come to us when we take time to slowly walk and think and clear our minds from our regular distractions and frustrations and allow space for God to get through to us.
Author: David Pearson