I am grateful to be able to share this post written by my colleague, Stormy Becker Falso, from Mariettea, Georgia. Read more from Stormy at www.christianscienceforga.com
Sometimes funny situations teach great lessons.
It was the usual schedule: up at 4:30 am, out the door by 5 am to take my son to ice hockey practice, pickup another hockey team mate on the way to the rink, dash home, get ready for work and head out the door again. On this morning though, I realized Thanksgiving was just days away and I had not done the grocery shopping. At this point, I had cooked on Thanksgiving for so many years I knew the menu and the grocery list by heart. So as I drove the boys to hockey practice I realized I’d be very close to a grocery store that was open 24 hours a day. So I made a mental shopping list and heading straight to the grocery store from the ice rink.
There were only a few shoppers in the store, but the aisles were full of staff stocking the shelves for the rush of grocery purchases. I zipped along. My shopping basket brimming with the fixings for our feast. The last aisle was the frozen food section. As I stood in front of the glass door contemplating the frozen vegetables, I noticed my reflection in the frame of the freezer door. I WAS IN MY PAJAMAS!! I laughed out loud!
As I drove home with my groceries I decided I needed to rediscover the thankful part of Thanksgiving. I realized that in my hurry, hurry life I was not living graciously. I was like the plate spinner at the circus. Recognizing that something needs to change and actually doing it can be a true challenge. In my daily prayer practice, I changed something. Instead of listing all of the day’s activities and then asking for help to accomplish them, I took a different approach. I began my prayer with gratitude that God was an ever-present, all power of good; I listened more. This change wasn’t just for a day or a week, it became my regular daily prayer. And life became less frenetic and more joyful.
There are researchers who have been focusing on the beneficial effects of gratitude. One study (sited in a Harvard Health News Letter) found that, “gratitude…helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals.” Another effect was, “fewer visits to physicians.”
Each year as I get ready to enjoy this holiday with family and friends I think of this story and laugh. But I continue to be grateful for the lesson learned.