“Yeah, but you’re not like other people.” This is often the rebuttal I get when I share my thoughts on how to overcome obstacles in life. There is the temptation to feel punished for my success or disqualified because I’m “extraordinary.” But the more I experience this type of conversation, the more evident it becomes that the issue is not how fantastic I am, the issue is how much lack people can grow accustom to.
Whether it’s finances, relationships, physical well-being, emotional health, or any other significant area of our lives, our prosperity is determined by our ability to embrace it within ourselves first.
Many people see what’s wrong with their life, what prayer hasn’t been answered, what difficulty or struggle still persists, what’s missing and how they’re not taken care of. This manifests in the form of complaining, it’s a cancer of the soul and the epitome of poverty. Am I saying we should deny our experience or ignore our needs? Of course not. But what we focus on increases. And what we observe stimulates more of that observance so we can see it more clearly and more often.
This poverty invites comparison and competition. It turns our neighbor’s success into a threat, their victory into a taunt. We cannot celebrate when we’re offended, we cannot agree when we’re opposed. In our brokenness of thought, we fail to recognize the beauty of what is all around us. When we become calloused to our own blessings, we welcome the devourer to consume more of them.
Everyday, constantly, there is an energy available to us to charge our lives with purpose and fulfillment. This energy is a conductor and through it we are opened to receive beauty in this life. When we give in to the nature of this energy, it takes anything around us and turns it into a portal through which we are transported to the real us. We can touch the divine and enjoy infinity in a moment, limitless possibility, the assurance of our provision, the fulfillment of our desires; we touch God. This energy manifests in the form of gratitude.
Every single one of us has the means to let the vitality that comes from gratitude flow through us. Waking up in the morning, the house we live in, the fact that we can read this…the air in our lungs. We are not lacking in materials to stoke the fires of thankfulness. It’s not enough to refrain from complaining, we must cherish the goodness in our lives. When we stop expressing the humility of appreciation and thankfulness, we stop our hearts from recognizing gratitude altogether. When we honor gratefulness within us, it allows us to experience more gratitude.
What good is acquiring and advancing if we can't enjoy what we have when we have it? Our lack of energy, lack of motivation, lack of hope and vision for tomorrow comes from our lack of appreciation for what is ours now. When we are thankful for our life, our life becomes a life worth being thankful for. It's not just that our perspective changes, our life actually gets better. Gratitude is stewardship.
We are most like ourselves and most capable of being us with a grateful spirit. Thankfulness is a posture of humility which acknowledges that our wellbeing is not our own doing and celebrates the benevolence of a good Father. We get to enjoy our lives more completely when we take inventory of our blessing and allow it to move us to a place of delight. He intended us for pleasure, may we fulfill our purpose and be what this world deserves.