It’s a lovely day out there and the little man is headed to school having recovered from a bout with the stomach flu over the weekend. Although he was feeling better, this morning he woke up with a spirit that was lacking in gratitude. He’d forgotten all about his excitement on Saturday at finding an Army duffel bag from the Korean War, and many other treasures, when he helped clean out a friend’s garage.
He’d also forgotten about all of the board games, books, and DVDs, that we had gotten for free after a yard sale closed yesterday, on our way home from a ginger ale and Jell-O run. What did he feel he was missing in life? Television… He had a sleepover at a friend’s house Friday night and was able to watch copious amounts of television. Suddenly something that we have not had for nearly two years was all that he could think about. I am considering it, television, but it is not a top priority to say the least.
When we go through a day feeling lack…lack for what we do not have, or lack of gratitude for all that we do have, it is like putting on a pair of sewage stained glasses, and everything we look at is tainted by the color and stink of that sewage. We become blinded to all of the goodness in life, and close our hearts to gratitude. However, it does happen to the best of us at times, even me.
A sense of lack often leads to thinking that we lack even more, as we continue to compare what we have to what others have and end up feeling even more ungrateful and lacking, whether it be lack of personal attributes, or lack of things. Comparison almost always leads to a feeling of lacking in some way or another, which is why God cautions us not to compare ourselves with others. It this world, that is hard not to do, but not impossible.
The little man is only 8 years old and at his age, comparison at school, and out in the world, is common. He is using comparison to figure out how he fits into the world. His teacher tells him not to compare, and I do the same, but it seems to be human nature, whether we are 8 or 80 years old.
I know several people in the late 70’s who constantly measure their own worth by what they have that others do not. At 8 it is something that is fairly natural, and provides many teachable moments to help the child value who he is as an individual, and to help him to know and appreciate just how blessed he truly is, and how he can use his blessings to bless others. At 80 years of age, it is a sad sight seeing someone who feels that the only way to measure up is to outdo everyone.
God loves people who are content with what they have, and who feel as if they are lacking for nothing. God loves people who feel that they are enough, and have enough, and likewise, other people are drawn to those who are content within, and without, both literally, and figuratively speaking. Gratitude does not come naturally to everyone, but I believe that it can be nurtured within, and learned over time, and strengthened into a habit.
Once you begin to appreciate all that you do have, it is amazing just how much more begins to show up. You will find yourself surrounded by grateful, content, people, and as you open up to feeling that you have enough of all that you need, you will also open yourself up to receive the things that you may have been blocking with those sewage stained glasses—opportunities that you just could not see, or did not believe existed will become visible, and obtainable.
So, today, put on a spirit of plenty, and glasses stained with the color of joy and gratitude, and don’t be tempted to take them off. If you need to wear a pair of blinders for a time along with your joy tinted glasses that is perfectly all right.
Once you establish your focus on gratitude, goodness, and plenty, and make it a habit, the blinders will naturally fall off in such a way that your view of life will be brighter, balanced, and the scent will be so sweet that you will not believe that you lived with the scent of sewage for so long. Take the time to develop a habit of contentment and gratitude. It is a very worthy summer project with such beauty all around!