Lent 2016 Gratitude for the Ordinary

Maundy Thursday 24th March

Psalm 35:18
I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you.

The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity
to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively,
the basic goods of life,
with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.
– Abraham Maslow

Isn’t it easy to save our biggest response of gratitude
for so called special and unusual gifts of life?
We so easily take for granted the ordinary and everyday gifts,
and save our enthusiasm for that which is a bit different.
Someone can serve us, help us, visit us on a regular basis
and we offer perfunctory thanks to them.
Then someone comes along one day and does something a bit extra, a bit different,
a bit more unusual which we like and our gratitude knows no bounds:
“How lovely! How thoughtful! How kind!”
If we could learn “to appreciate again and again the basic goods of life, with awe, with pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy” says Abraham Maslow,
“then we would be fortunate indeed.”
Let’s not save our exuberant thanks for the new and unexpected,
but teach ourselves once again
to be truly thankful and excited about the ordinary everyday gifts that come our way.
When we begin to take life, people, and circumstances for granted
we lose something very special.
It is often only when it is no longer there that we realise again its true value.
Let’s not wait that long.
Let’s remind ourselves each and every day just how blessed we are –
and be enthusiastic in our gratitude. Life will then find a new vibrancy.