One recent evening, I stopped by a friend’s house and found her sitting in her favorite armchair, Christmas crochet-work at her side, and I asked what was on her mind that day. “Well,” she said, “until a few minutes before you arrived I had been thinking about a very worrisome trouble, but I was jolted out of my reverie and sat up, looked around, and felt such overwhelming gratitude for the number of small things in my life that help me, and are going right. I suddenly felt extraordinary gratitude for a lot of very little things.”
Her statement jolted me, too, and my own mind switched gears. Though I also had some significant things that were concerning me, I immediately began thinking of any number of things in my own life that, though small, would sure not have seemed so “small” had they not been working, or if I didn’t have them at all.
There must be thousands of little things in all our lives that we so casually take for granted. In fact, we take for granted many things that are precious.
I realize that a discussion of being grateful for the smaller things risks being misunderstood by anyone going through a highly difficult season of life. I can attest that I have felt great frustration with individuals who, upon hearing of a difficulty I was going through, started regaling me with platitudes about looking on the bright side, and so forth. They seemed oblivious and out of touch.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the truth that in the midst of trial, we can still embrace gratitude for something small. Scientific research is showing a connection between basic gratitude and mental and emotional health. Embracing the truth of positive and real gratitude does not negate the truth of difficult circumstance. Those two truths do not negate one another.
All of us at FaithPrayers wish you a warm and loving Thanksgiving, filled with many good things—large and small!