Harvesting Gratitude

Nothing paralyzes our lives like the attitude that things can never change. We need to remind ourselves that God can change things. Outlook determines outcome. If we see only the problems, we will be defeated; but if we see the possibilities in the problems, we can have victory. - Warren Wiersbe

Most waves are either friendly or fun.  The “second wave” we’re experiencing due to the Coronavirus, not so much so.  I don’t know about you but it, kind of snuck up on me, even though it was a prevalent shadow lurking somewhere in my peripheral vision.  It caught me off-guard, just as I was in the middle of enjoying a renewed sense of time spent with family and friends (respecting the parameters of social distancing) and actually having some fun, re-discovering an old much-loved hobby of mine - hiking and exploring nature in different parks. 

I had stopped doing these excursions a few years ago for various reasons.  Remarkable how fortunate I was to have had one last hike, in Mont-Tremblant park, and enjoy a spectacular view, on a crisp Autumn day surrounded by the stunning beauty of Fall foliage  - a breath-taking scene of cascading mountains brimming  with multi-coloured trees brushed with magnificent hues of yellow, orange, red and coniferous green, the glorious backdrop to the wavy deep blue shoreline of the sensationally pristine Lake Monroe! In hindsight, how incredible it truly was considering the following week we were imposed with new Covid-19 restrictions, and two weeks later my district is now considered part of the “red zone” due to an increased number in Covid cases!

With Thanksgiving fast-approaching, I have been reflecting about this blissful moment and the other bounty of blessings in my life.   The Coronavirus has shaken us up on many fronts.  Although it has deprived us of some things, it has also opened up other possibilities, enlightening us with a deeper sense of what really matters.  It’s easy to get discouraged.  Gratitude keeps us grounded in times of uncertainty, serving as a gentle guide and reliable foundation in a sea of grey.

Another thing I’ve been reminded of during this pandemic is how many of the best things in life are those unplanned (forfeiting our notions of best laid plans).  If I think about my hiking adventures this year, they came about in large part due to the Coronavirus, and its imposing restrictions.  One of my most memorable hikes, besides the recent one in Mont-Tremblant park with my brother, was with my niece, at Mont St. Bruno park.  We got a lost a few times, and kept ending up on a trail that just brought us back out onto the street, until we finally decided to break for lunch.

After satisfying our palates, we found our way around easily, affording us an excellent hike, followed by a rewarding coffee sitting on the terrasse of a café on a decadent, sun-splashed mid-August afternoon.  What a treat relishing those relaxing moments, not to mention time spent with my niece!  Funny how when we stop trying to force situations or outcomes, instill a little patience and go with the flow, that we frequently end up with insightful solutions.  Moments like these often pivot the foundation of joy and enrichment in our lives if we have the foresight to take advantage of them and the gifts they offer. 

That’s not to say that we’re supposed to wake up every day all cheery-eyed and eager to embrace the day.  Some days will be inevitably more challenging than others. Or, that we won’t wake up some nights gripped in the clutches of fear.  But gratitude, like daylight, brings forth awareness and relinquishes some of our worries and anxieties, illuminating a certain sense of calm and peace, especially during times of uncertainty.

For many of us, this Thanksgiving won’t be how we planned.  It will be less about gathering in numbers, and more about choosing how we tally up the numbers. 

Harvesting gratitude may just give us a richer appreciation of the bounty of blessings, we still have to be thankful for.  So, I’m choosing to be grateful for what I do have this Thanksgiving, rather than deliberating on what might be missing.  Because there’s always room for gratitude in a world habitually focused on the negative, and I want the multitude of favors God has already graced my life with to be ashining example of the hope and possibilities in whatlies ahead, just like the unexpected brilliance of those multi-coloured leaves on my Mont-Tremblant hike! No matter how you’re spending this Thanksgiving I hope you’ll join me in giving thanks, as we journey into another season of unpredictability, and remember all the good.

 

Philippians 4:6-8 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds.”

 

From GlowBox community member Cindy O.

If you would like to check out other blogs by her, you can find them at choosingzeninthejungle.blogspot.com 


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