Updated: Jul 1
Gratitude sure is hard to find these days. And ingratitude can settle like dust on a brass lamp or great tumbleweeds under the bed in no time. The tiny particles that rapidly multiply and accumulate. Worse than that is ingratitude creates a barrier between you and God. An attitude of entitlement separates a soul from Him. And like dust, the longer you leave it, the thicker it grows insulating you further.
But how can we be grateful with so much evidence to the contrary? There is disaster, death and heartache in our troubled world. One is deemed mad if grateful for loss, never mind profound loss. But hear me out.
If the great truth is ‘God is love, He is everywhere and knows everything,’ it would make sense that heaven isn’t far from Him. Perhaps God is heaven? Stay with me.
Heaven. A question each individual has to work out for himself, especially in these Covid days. And we would be doing ourselves a great disservice if we avoided it altogether. We’d be fooling ourselves to thinking it fairy dust.
So, if God is represents heaven and we each possess a little piece of God, then that means we must possess a little piece of heaven too, or at the very least a grain of it. Even in this distressed world with its horrific problems.
So, where’s the heaven? To that I’d say: compassion. With these immeasurable injustices Covid has exposed, compassion is also illuminated. Each one of us holds compassion for someone. Something. It may be only a drop but it’s there. Has been all along. We as a race didn’t seem to exercise it very well pre-Covid, but we’re seeing it now. We have great empathy for nations, people, animals, even trees. Albeit, easily buried under anger, but it’s there.
And with compassion, there is love. With love, there is hope. Now those sound more characteristic of God don’t you think? Saint Augustine searched far and wide looking for God and it was only when he stopped and looked within that he found Him. So, it is with us.
I believe those grains and seeds of compassion, the love within us, is what we need to nurture and work with. Not the opposite. We all know the old adage ‘whatever we focus on grows.’ Well, this is a big one that could change everything.
Back to the dust bunnies and layer of dust on the lamp. Like anything, gratitude or entitlement start small. How about the small ingratitudes in your own bubble? Your wife forgot to pick up milk. The guy who cut in front of you. The collegue who got the promotion you worked for. Forget the large injustices our global world face today. What about the tiny ones we think irrevelant? How do we handle those? Do we rehearse them like a song, or drop them in exchange for some small thankfulness? The answer to that question might be a big, big clue to our problems today. Dust bunnies the sizes of elk didn’t get under the bed overnight.
Maybe it’s time to get the Pledge out and stay focused on the characteristics that build a relationship of true peace and beauty of life He wants for us. Even in the mess.