Happy people focus on what they have, and unhappy people focus on what’s missing. Attitude makes the difference.
I was sipping some great Costa Rica dark roast while culling countless memes for the few worth keeping. Writers collect such. I’ve been known to save a picture from someone’s email or a meme, and have it mysteriously morph into an entire story line . . . I digress.
As I scrolled, this popped up.
On a sticky note, someone had written, “What if you woke up this morning having only those things you told God ‘Thank you’ for yesterday?”
That brought me up short and I began to think.
Seriously. I sat back, took another sip or two of java, and began to retrace my gratitude of yesterday.
Yesterday, October 7, 2018, I thanked God for
- the gift of a fresh, new 24 hours of living.
- my breakfast, the privilege to be able to eat it, and the ongoing miracle of my tiny remaining piece of small gut to absorb enough nutrients to keep me functioning without any medical assistance – defying all prognoses of medical professionals saying it’s impossible for me to live.
- the blessing of my career shift into pastoral ministry, which led to residency and irreplaceable years of service as a hospital chaplain, giving me both experience and tools with which to serve others now in specialized ways.
- knowing how to treat the repetitive bouts with the physical challenges of my ‘Now’ without hospitalization.
- the gift of an unforgettable wife, an understanding family, and a few close friends who know enough of my journey since Spring of 1997 that I need not explain when I’m feeling rough and need rest.
- the blessing of being gifted to do what I’m doing right now: to write encouragement and champion personal and spiritual excellence to into your lives.
- You. If there were no readers, there’d be no blog, no forthcoming books. Since a day rarely passes without me doing some sort of writing, it’s also a rare day I don’t think about and pray about you.
- the further anticipated blessings of a good income from my writing, which will help me be independent regardless of what lies ahead of me.
- the toughness and gritty reality of my life experience thus far; it’s steeled me to face things God’s led me through I’d likely never have otherwise survived.
There were other gratitudinous items tossed in. I’m always appreciative – often vocally so – of each morning’s first several cups of wonderful black, steaming, fragrant coffee. Every time I hear a siren or series of sirens, I thank God for those trained to give that aid, praying over them and those they’re rushing to help.
There are more, but you get the point. I tend to live a life of gratitude.
I’ve met nobody who likes life’s hard places; I watched my parents weather their share, and wasn’t looking forward to any such encounters. Yet tough situations create strong people.
I grew up strong, muscular and willing to work hard. Prior to my physical Waterloo, I was a solid six feet tall, weighing in at 250. Now? five feet, ten inches (if I stretch), and I eat almost constantly to maintain a svelte, skinny-butted 170.
In spite of all that, I’m a strong people. Stronger and tougher than ever. I wouldn’t have been as strong, had God not customized and personalized some things laid out before me I wasn’t sure at the time I’d survive. Whether matters of heart, mind, or body, they weren’t intended to be subtle.
Because they hurt, I’m a bigger, tougher, stronger man, husband, and dad – and a more useful friend.
Therefore, I’m most thankful for that last item. It is making me more of the man God’s had in mind to make of me.
© D. Dean Boone, October 2018