Gratitude, then, is not just a reflective practice, it is an active posture for how we enter our relationships, circumstances, and future.

A Reflection on the Role of Gratitude in Our Lives

A piece by Melissa Haunty, Program Curator 

The practice of gratitude often draws us to look back on what we are thankful for, and rightly so. As our lives move faster, gratitude invites us to slow down, remember, and realize what we have received. In a still moment of appreciation for what has been, gratitude bestows value on our lives just as they are.

But gratitude is also about looking ahead. Psalm 100:4 reminds us that we enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Choosing a posture of gratitude reframes how we experience a given situation and changes the way we think. Gratitude sets the tone for upcoming days, weeks, months, and even years. When we observe the manifestation of goodness in the past, we can then anticipate goodness in the future.

Gratitude, then, is not just a reflective practice, it is an active posture for how we enter our relationships, circumstances, and future.

What would it look like to regard gratitude as both an affirmation on departure and a posture of entry as we arrive somewhere new? Giving thanks as reflection recalls the value of the original experience; giving thanks as we enter opens our hearts to engage where God is already at work.

In this season of Thanksgiving, let us enter relationships and conversations in a spirit of gratitude. In doing so, may gratitude open our eyes to see how the Spirit of God is already moving, valuing our friends and family anew.

 

 

 

Photo by Charis Gegelman on Unsplash