Grace and Peace to you.
“Were not ten made clean?
But the other nine, where are they?
Was none of them found to return and give praise to God
except this foreigner?”
Jesus’ parables can be about different people; they are also about different parts of ourselves. I am only grateful for about ten percent of the wonderful things I receive. And so often the grateful part is the foreigner: the part of me that I relegate to the shadows, the vulnerable, ashamed part that I ignore. And yet it speaks forth my gratitude for me when my ego-mind is too busy protecting its worthiness to be thankful.
Gratitude is not an emotion that comes upon us without our control. It is not dependent on what happens to us, but on our intention. Like good posture, it is a practice, an attitude that is entirely our choice in every moment. Gratitude is the ground of all wisdom, the root of all joy. When we practice gratitude it opens our hearts to the deep gifts in all of life, and God’s grace, the Holy One’s presence with us, even in the things we are not pleased with. The intention of gratitude opens us to God’s intention of generosity. There is a gift hidden in everything. To find it, be grateful. Let the one leper teach the rest of you how to give thanks.
A friend of mine told me once after a particularly lovely day she came home, sat in her easy chair and said out loud, “Thank You.” And she swears she heard a voice say out loud, “You’re welcome.”
Practice gratitude. For everything. For what you see out the window, for what you hear from your co-workers, say “Thank You.” When your kids walk in the room, when you take a breath, when your spouse tells you how to drive, when to stub your toe, say “Thank You.”
Practice gratitude and eventually you will be able to hear the universe say, “You’re welcome.”
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