Maybe it is because the sun has shone the past few weeks but at St Matthew’s we have been thinking a fair bit recently about gratitude. Gratitude is such a glorious thing. It acts like a thermometer; if we are full of gratitude it suggests that the rest of our being is in a good place. And it acts like a projector; the grateful are always good to be around, full of life and generosity and joy. Now only have we just celebrated Harvest, reminding ourselves again of God’s goodness in providing for far more food than we need as a nation, but alongside this, with the horrific scenes emerging from Syria, we know how things might be, and indeed are for some. I am not saying that our lives are problem free, of course not, but in the West we have SO MUCH. Things like clean water, reliable electricity, an extensive transport infrastructure, stable government….the list goes on and on.
Yet why is it that this cartoon remains stubbornly true.? My Christian faith teaches me that there is something wrong within me, that means that I’m not able to pay proper attention to all the blessings God has given me. I can try to make myself feel more grateful, and it may work a bit, but in the end only God can change the deep places of our hearts.
And so I am working with him. This is what a Christian is, someone on the road to recovery having taken hold of the hand of God. Still very much work in progress but aiming, day by day, and with His strength and guidance, to do what this second cartoon urges us to do;
to pay attention to all the bounty God has given us rather than looking at all the things we don’t have!
For, the more gratitude I experience the more I can be sure I am becoming the person God wants me to become and so also the better the rest of life works.
But, as I said, I am still very much work in progress. We all are……
Rev Will Coleridge – October 2015