Lent 2016 Reflection at Compline

Some weeks ago when I first preached on keeping a Gratitude diary
I said that I had gotten into the habit of looking out for things throughout the day
that I might put into my diary at the end of it.

When you first begin to keep such a diary
there are always new things you can think of to write in it.
But after you have been doing it for a while
you find that you can easily begin to repeat yourself,
because finding different and fresh instances each day for which to express gratitude becomes a little harder.

That is when I started watching carefully during the day to find something different.
For me that was a good thing
because I began actively looking for things to be thankful about.
I found that it changed my attitude to the day,
I slowly began to live each day predisposed to finding things I appreciated.

It made me begin to look at my life’s experiences with new eyes.
That is what the spiritual discipline of gratitude does for us;
It helps us to see things and situations with new eyes – with thankful eyes.

Tomorrows Lenten reflection is about learning to see with new eyes;
seeing things in new ways; looking at life from a different perspective.

There are certain things in life that we find ourselves enduring rather than enjoying.
For me personally, one of those things is meetings.
I hate being on committees
and find myself inwardly groaning when I see a meeting coming up in my diary.
Inevitably, it means I go into that meeting with a negative attitude;
and, inevitably, my negative attitude leads me to getting frustrated in the meeting.

Keeping a gratitude diary helps me to enter such a situation with new eyes,
and, hopefully, with a better attitude.
If I have such a meeting in the day, as I did today,
I try and find something in that meeting to write in my Gratitude diary for that day.
What it does is make me look for something good to appreciate,
rather than be constantly expecting, and therefore getting, the worst.
I have not perfected it yet, but the journey has begun!

What is there in your life that needs to be seen through new eyes?
Maybe your gratitude diary can help the change to begin.