To Be Grateful

I came across this piece of writing from Henri Nouwen this morning, a few days after finishing last Sunday’s sermon.  It seemed so relevant to what I hoped I was saying when I was preaching “Leftovers.”   Nouwen invites us to be grateful for all of our lives, including those parts of our life that are filled with sorrow, failure and rejection because all of our lives has made us the people we are and brought us to this present moment.

To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy,
but to be grateful for all of our lives-
the good as well as the bad,
the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow,
the successes as well as the failures,
the rewards as well as the rejections-
that requires hard spiritual work.

Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say “thank you”
to all that has brought us to the present moment.
As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget,
we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.
Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now
and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.

-Henri J. M. Nouwen

Today I invite you to give thanks to God for everything that has brought you to where you are now.


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