23 Sep Gratitude Is Awareness (AMY E. DEAN)
There’s a story of a spiritual teacher whose daily sermons were powerful and inspiring. Hours of preparation often went into creating such messages of hope, love, forgiveness, and joy. One morning, before standing to deliver the day’s sermon, the teacher focused on the message about to be given and knew it would probably be the best ever. The teacher remembered the time spent writing and rewriting the words of hope and peace and felt confident that many would be touched by such wisdom. Smiling, the teacher arose and faced those who had gathered together for the day’s message.
At that moment, a little bird came and sat on the window sill. It began to sing with a full heart for a few minutes. Then it stopped and flew away. The teacher was silent for a moment, then folded the pages to the prepared sermon and announced, “The sermon for this morning is over.”
To me, this story reflects what gratitude is: being able to fully experience and embrace the spontaneity of a moment that’s not sought after or anticipated. But how often do you allow that to happen? The mad rush of living, the mad crush of places to go and people to see, and the maddening stream of problems that need to be solved and conflicts that need to be resolved on a daily basis can make you forget that there’s a world teeming around you with wonders.
Gratitude: A Way of Life
Louise L. Hay