The lens of gratitude
Every day I ride one of two elevators in a downtown building to my office on an upper floor. But one morning both elevators were out of service, and I had to walk up. That was the day I really began to appreciate the elevators. The next time I rode one I was genuinely grateful.
That incident opened my eyes to the many everyday conveniences I had been taking for granted. I realized how much richer my days would be if I opened my eyes wider to the good that surrounds me, not only the things that surrounds me, not only the things that make life easier but the countless, deeper ways in which we all are blessed.
"What is gratitude but a powerful camera obscura,m a thing focusing light where love, memory, and all within the human heart is present to manifest light, " n1 writes Mary Baker Eddy. n2 Wouldn't our lives be infinitely brighter if we brought the light of gratitude to the great and small events of our day?
n1 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,m p. 164.
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
Gratitude is an indispensable part of the art of living.It is a talent we all have, but it requires constant cultivation. It is an active acknowledgment that God is the true source of all the good that comes into our lives. appreciating every evidence of this good is a significant way of worshipping God, of accepting His everpresence and loving care.
The Psalmist wrote, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. . . . Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." n3
n3 Psalms 100:1,4.
Does God provide us with elevators and other material conveniences? He gives us something far more significant. God is infinite Spirit, divine Love. Man is Love's offspring, Spirit's likeness. God's bestowals are entirely spiritual. But divine blessings are no less real and tangible because of their spiritual nature. They are seen in intelligent ideas expressed by man. As we begin to understand these ideas we find ourselves able to solve problems in appropriate ways.
Man's very reason for being is to express God, infinite good. No man accomplished this better than Christ Jesus. To Philip's request, "Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us," Jesus replied, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father." n4 Jesus was constantly illustrating the nature of God, and of man created in His likeness. Through his sermons and healing works, Jesus expressed the intelligence of divine Mind, the compassion of infinite Love, and the authority of immortal Truth.
It was through the lens of gratitude for God's goodness that Jesus viewed the world. He didn't wait for good to appear on the human scene before giving gratitude for it. Where his disciples saw only a few loaves and fishes with which to feed a miltitude, their Master recognized God's infinite abundance. Giving thanks for this realization of Love's provision, he broke the bread and gave it to the multitude. There were basketfuls left over.
Called to the tomb of his friend Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, Jesus first gave thanks to God. Then, when he called Lazarus, the man responded and came alive out of the tomb.
Practicing gratitude and focusing it more sharply on the good in every human situation, we will see beyond the inadequacy and limitation presented by the material senses. As every tendency to criticism, perssimism, or discouragement yields to faith and trust, the lens of gratitude will enable us to see increasing evidence of God's goodness and love. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5