Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thank You

There is a person in my life who struggles mightily with the virtue of gratitude. If this person receives a dollar, this person is likely to complain that it was not two. It is rare to hear a sincere thank you from this person. It is rarer still for this person to offer to do anything for someone else unless prompted. This person can find reasons to complain about anything, and is quick to find fault in even the most beautiful moment. This person irritates me to no end.

However, when this person has hurt me the most through ingratitude, I have learned to use it as a mirror showing me how God feels when I am ungrateful to Him for the many things that He does for me. This person is an important reminder to me of how hard I must work to overcome my own ingratitude so that I do not hurt others in this way. It might seem easier to push this person away, to shut that person out of my life, but to do so would rob me of the gifts that God wants for me to receive from that person.

Truthfully, there are many good things about this person, too. This person can be incredibly kind and compassionate. We share many interests in common, and enjoy each other's company. This person has taught me a great deal about being generous with what you have without counting the cost. I have gained much as a person from loving this person as I do. I am grateful to have this person in my life.

I can tell you that I was not a grateful person not so long ago. Nothing anyone ever did for me was good enough. I was so empty inside and so hungry for something to fill the gap that no one could ever do enough. It was not until I was on a silent retreat nearly three years ago that God showed me how ungrateful I really was for all that he and others had done for me in my life. He shared with me that the way to overcome my ingratitude was to thank Him and thank others for whatever is done for me whether I feel like it at that moment or not. Since then, I have worked to make it a habit to thank everyone for anything that is done for me no matter how small it may seem. The reward of such effort has been a great improvement in my outlook on life, and in my ability to make it through the tougher moments of life. It has also made me more pleasant company, and less likely to hurt others.

I have not perfected the art of gratitude. I still have moments where I take for granted the many blessings in my life. However, the person in my life who struggles with gratitude helps to spur me to do better. When I am around them I am reminded again of why it is so important that I work at being more grateful. So, no matter how they react or respond, I simply wish to say Thank you. I would not be who I am today if you were not who you are.

Popular Posts