Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Way to Be More Grateful

One blogger that I follow posts Sunday Inspiration each week. I know I won't be THAT ambitious but today I want to share some Sunday Inspiration with you. I have been reading the book You Will Get Through This by Max Lucado. He is one of my favorite Christian authors.

One chapter is on being more grateful. He begins the chapter by telling this story.

"I was flying home from the Midwest when a snowstorm delayed my arrival in Dallas. I raced to the gate in hopes of catching the final flight of the night for San Antonio. The airport was in a state of contained turmoil. everyone dashing to a gate. The airlines had already loaded extra passengers on  my plane. With all the charm I could muster, I asked the attendant, "Are there any seats left?"

She looked at her computer screen. "No," she replied, "I'm afraid...."

I just knew how she was going to finish the sentence: "I'm afraid you'll have to spend the night here." "i'm afraid you'll need to find a hotel." I'm afraid you'll have to catch the 6:00 a.m. flight to San Antonio."

But she said none of these. Instead, she looked up and smiled. "I'm afraid there are no more seats in coach. We are going to have to bump you up to first class. Do you mind if we do that?"

"Do you mind if I kiss you?" So I boarded the plane and nestled down in the wide seat with the extra legroom. Color me thankful.

Not every passenger was as appreciative as I was. A fellow across the aisle from me was angry because he had only one pillow. With the attendants scrambling to lock doors and prepare for the delayed departure, he was complaining about insufficient service. "I paid extra to fly first class. I am accustomed to better attention. I want another pillow!"

On the other side of the aisle, yours truly smiled like a guy who had won the lottery without buying a ticket. One passenger grumbled; the other was grateful. The difference? The crank paid his way into first class. My seat was a gift.

On which side of the aisle do you find yourself?

If you feel the world owes you something, brace yourself for a life of sour hours. You'll never get reimbursed.
Max Lucado (From the book You'll Get Through This)

Isn't that profound? I struggle with being as grateful as I know I should be. I have tried writing in a gratitude journal but have never been able to keep it up consistently. Just telling myself to be more aware of my blessings doesn't seem to work. But I love this thought. Is this a gift or is it something I am entitled to or that I paid for? Just asking that question makes me acutely aware of all the good things that I have been given.

So I have made a note to remind me. It asks this questions: Is it a gift or is it a given? All I have to do is look around me and I can quickly see that a good marriage, a happy family, a comfortable home, are not givens in this world. I am going to make this question my mantra over the next month. Already, in just a few days, I feel like it has helped me recognize all the good things God has given me.

I will be sharing this thought with my kids during our devotional tonight. I hope that it inspires you as well.

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