Gratitude and Grace

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I have begun a three-week, online, guided meditation program entitled “Manifesting Grace through Gratitude.” It is hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra. This is the fourth series I have participated in, and so far I have not been disappointed.

Today’s meditation centered on gratitude being within us, with the centering thought being “All good things bring gratitude.”

Gratitude is not a new concept for me. I am grateful for more things in my life than I could ever count. Through good times and bad, I have learned to be thankful. I often think of the scripture, “In everything give thanks.” It is a challenge to be thankful for the bad things that happen in my life, but through experience, I have discovered that I can be thankful for the bad, as well as the good.

In this morning’s meditation, we were asked to think of three things in our lives for which we are grateful – they could be anything we thought of. My first thoughts were 1) Sunshine, 2) my comfortable easy chair, and 3) my front porch. We were instructed to focus on each thing, one at a time, expressing mentally our gratitude and thanks. In return, these things would return our gratitude to us.

As I thought about Sunshine and what a delight she is in my life, I mentally told her how grateful I am for her. Asleep next to me, not knowing what I was doing, she rolled over and placed her little head on my arm. I could feel my gratitude reflecting back to me through my sleeping pup. I could feel her thanking me for rescuing her from the animal shelter over two years ago.

Next, I thought about my chair, and thanked it for coming to live in my home. I love my chair, and spend many hours reading, writing, and gazing at the birdfeeder outside my window while curled up snugly between its overstuffed arms. As I offered my thanks to my chair, I visualized it sitting in the furniture store the day I bought it. I knew as soon as I saw it that it was the chair I had been searching for the past year. I feel sure that if my chair could talk, it would thank me for rescuing it from the cold and impersonal store and bringing it home to live with me and my red sofa.

Lastly, I thought about my front porch, and thanked it for inviting me to sit in its shade to have coffee in the morning and wine in the evening. From my porch, I can watch the world go by, get lost in gazing at the clouds drifting by overhead, and listen to the songs of our neighborhood birds. I imagine it returning my gratitude in saving it from a lonely existence of being alone. I think my porch likes having people sit on it to relax, visit with one another, and enjoy the view.

I know these three things that I am thankful for are not the most profound things in my life. But these are the three that I chose for this morning’s meditation, and these are the three that returned my gratitude to me in their own unique ways. It was a deeply moving experience as I experienced the “conversation” of gratitude and realized that it is indeed a two-way street.

Yes, I am grateful for so much in my life, and I experience God’s grace touching me as I recognize my gratitude and express it. And I imagine that God loves it when I stop to thank him for all of the gifts that he has given to me. In response , God returns my gratitude through grace.

I am overflowing with gratitude today.

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