Sunday, July 17, 2016

Spirit of Gratitude

(Inspirational Series)

Joel Osteen is a well-known pastor and speaker. His church is the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. I find his messages to be inspirational, comforting and uplifting. I watched a broadcast of one of his sermons today on DVD. His message was about “gratitude and being thankful for the gift of today”.  He said to find things in your life to be grateful for instead of complaining about what you do not have or situations you have no control over.
                                           
In our every day lives there are many things that we can get mad, sad or upset about. The trick is to change our attitude to a more positive one and see the good in things instead of the bad. Human beings tend to gravitate to the negative and worry or stress about the worse of things. However, with just a little discipline every day, when we start to get agitated about someone or something, we need to adjust our way of thinking and pray to God for the strength to overcome that feeling and move on. Let go of that side of you that dwells on how miserable your life is. Start being grateful for each day you get to live. We cannot always control our environment and things such as being stuck in traffic, having someone cut you off on the highway, listening to a co-worker complain, a nagging spouse, misbehaving children, argument with family or friends, can wear you down and out. It may not be easy to be thankful when you are overwhelmed with situations, but it is worth a try.

Joel Osteen says each day is a special day. We need to be grateful that we wake up in the morning. Live each day as if it was your last, because it might very well be. Do not take for granted the people in your life or the things around you. It is a joy to be able to see, touch, breath, talk, hear and overall feel alive in the world. Some people that are less fortunate that may be homeless, unemployed, no family or friends, missing a limb or have a disease, have better attitudes and outlook on their lives. They have set their minds to be thankful for life. You do not want to live a life in regret, self-pity, anger, resentment, and depression. Of course, that is not to say you need to be happy at all times or not show your emotions or be discouraged, but the key thing is not to linger in that moment, because then you will not let yourself rise above the situation.

I pray to God everyday for strength to face whatever the day may bring. If I am facing a tough situation or decision, I ask him to enlighten and guide me. When I was younger, I only prayed to him when I wanted something and with not much conviction at that.  I then got upset when I did not get what I prayed for.  In being grateful, we can live better, happier, more productive lives. You will notice a change, because this brings about an attitude change as well. I spent too much time and energy in being negative, depressed and wallowing in self-pity. I was not living each moment of each day, I was focused too much on past regrets and future worries. I lacked the faith to know that God would see me through.

As aspiring writers or established ones, living by this motto will make us stronger. We will be better able to deal with the rejections we might get or overcome the frustration when we can’t come up with anything to write about.  Let’s be thankful that we can read, write (even if we get writer’s block sometimes), make connections with other writers, have supportive family and friends, and have strength to persevere in our goal to just write and one day get published (if this is our dream). Like the saying goes, it is not the destination, but the journey that matters.