My goal is to live long into old age and continue to be helpful to others. I’m pretty sure the purpose of my life won’t end at a certain age, and that I will always have good work to do, if I choose to do it. Why?
We’ve all had a moment where we witnessed an act of kindness, got something good that we didn’t deserve, or saw forgiveness take place in spite of pain. For me personally, those moments helped convince me that people are basically good, everyone has value, and helping people is the way to go.
So why do so many of us struggle with bitterness, living out a story in our minds that doesn’t seem to have any sweet chapters ahead?
The point I think we often miss is that those early moments of faith and hope have a connection to our daily attitude right now. If faith is the spark of our beliefs about the world and how we should live, thankfulness is the fuel for that fire.
Sometimes it’s mistreatment or pain that replaces our faith, swapping out a positive belief for a negative one. It’s tough to have faith when your self esteem is slipping. And positivity can be hard when you feel like things are happening out of your control.
There is a stronger power you can claim in your life, though! It’s the power of viewing almost everything in life as a choice. Most importantly, we get to choose how we act, and how we react. One of the greatest challenges we face is maintaining our faith over the long haul, and the truth is that it’s a choice. It’s a choice to notice and appreciate the good parts.
When you’re finished reading this post, you can Google examples of people who remain grateful despite incredible abuse, trauma, and hardship. You can even look up the scientific health benefits of practicing daily gratitude. But the bottom line is, there’s a lot more joy available to you if you can quit being stubborn and decide to feed your own faith with thankfulness.
I’m thankful for clean air and schools and people who smile at me, and for all the crazy blessings I will experience next year. I hope this thankfulness rubs off on you, just like yours can rub off on someone else.
“You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.”