In her book 1,000 Gifts Ann Voskamp quotes Chesterton:
“Thanks are the highest form of thought and gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
When I read this I saw thOUGHT. This is how I OUGHT to think. This is what I OUGHT to do. The part of the earth where I live is gloomy today. No sunshine in sight. This is one reason our best friends moved to New Mexico! Much more sunshine there.
The gloom is accentuated by naked deciduous trees. Somehow they look even skinnier this morning. The ground is mostly brown and gray, too. The recent record breaking rain is slowly making the grassy areas “green up,” that is unless the ground has just turned to mud as in my friend’s driveway! Mushy brown muddy goo.
Gray sky, brown and gray tree skeletons, but this also reminds me that with this New Year turning of the calendar, I am also supposed to be renewed and resting. One young friend told me she had prayed the Lord would give her a word for the year 2019. She suggested I ask Him also. It seems He already did in my recent journaling and seeking His face. “Be still.”
Except for the recent wind storms here, the trees are still. No leaves fluttering, not much fluid moving up and down the trunk. No fragrance of newly mown grass outside. The rose bushes are dormant. Even the snap dragons that were holding out with leaves and a few flower buds in the garden are looking shabby and going dormant.
How can I be still and just rest in all of this? Bob’s procedure is coming up in a few hours. But fretting will not help that. Me being still would create a better atmosphere for all. I learned from a recent hospital test he endured that I can accomplish little while the doctors are working their magic upon his body. So perhaps I can take that opportunity to practice being still. Not running out into the future of “What ifs” or the past of “If onlys.” Still in the present moment.
Thanks and gratitude in the stillness. Making that list of 1,000 Gifts to be thankful for feels forced and corny in the beginning. Later it becomes a lifestyle that enriches awareness and has the potential to bloom into gratitude. Help me be still and open my eyes and ears to thanks and gratitude.