Tami Urcia contemplates how true contentment is impossible without gratitude.
It’s always interesting to hear the reactions when we have a period of Indian summer during our Michigan autumn. Some are in seventh heaven, pull out the golf clubs, throw some meat on the grill, and soak it up. Others are saddened that their anticipation of Christmas is waylaid and wish for chillier weather or even snow. Others just go with the flow, knowing that the cold will be back soon enough.
This could be a great metaphor for our spiritual life as well. When we feel the warmth of summer in our souls, do we act upon it? When the flame of the Holy Spirit burns within us, do we pull out our clubs and swing away, so to speak?
When we are saddened because we are in a period of waiting, and that joyful anticipation has seemingly disappeared, do we lament and wish for things to be different? Or do we live in the moment and take more time for prayer?
Or are we just floating along on a lazy river, steering neither left nor right, up nor down, just letting life take us where it may? Is this really living?
It all comes down to gratitude. If you think about it, the measure of our gratefulness is the measure of our joy. If we are thankful for the warmth and thankful for the chill and thankful for everything in between, we will find ourselves content.
And with joy-filled hearts we will be able to proclaim together with the Psalmist:
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song.
Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name.
For he is good: the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100)
What an amazing cascade of praise! Many of us struggle to eke out a simple “thank you.” Can you imagine your soul being so full that you could not stop expressing your gratitude?!
So let us strive to shift our thoughts to the positive, remembering all of God’s mercies and all of His blessings, and be grateful for what truly matters. It may be warm today and cold tomorrow, but God’s love is with us through it all. Thank you, Lord!
Copyright 2020 Tami Urcia
Image: Xan Griffing (2017), Unsplash
About the Author
Tami is a Western Michigander who spent early adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied and quiet conversation with the hubby. Tami works at Diocesan, does Spanish/English translations and guest blogs. She runs her own blog at Together and Always.