A famous author sat in his study, took out his pen and started writing:
“Last year, I had surgery to remove my gallstones. I had to lie in bed for a long time. In the same year, I turned 60 and entered retirement age. I left the job that I really enjoyed doing, at a company that I had worked for 35 years. That same year, I was left behind by my beloved father. Then, still in the same year, my son failed his final medical exam because of a car accident. Repair costs for car damage were at their peak at that time. What a terrible year!”
His wife happened to walk into the room. She found her husband sad and pensive. From behind, she read what he had written. She backed away slowly and left the room.
Fifteen minutes later, she returned and placed on her husband’s desk, a sheet of paper with the following written on it:
“Last year, my husband finally managed to get rid of his gallstones that had been hurting him for years. In that same year, I was grateful he was able to retire healthy and happy. I thank God that he had a job to draw an income for 35 years to support our family. Now, my husband can spend more time writing, which has been his passion for a long time. In the same year, my 95-year-old father-in-law without any illness went home to be with the Lord, in peace and bliss. Then, still in the same year, God protected my child from a terrible car accident. Our car was seriously damaged but my child survived without the slightest injury. Last year was a year of abundant blessings from God, and we went through it with great amazement and gratitude.”
On reading what she had written, the famous author smiled, warm tears flowing down his cheeks; he was grateful for the different perspective on every event he went through the year before. The different perspective cheered him up.
Brothers and sisters, we must realise that it is not happiness that makes us grateful but it is completely the other way around; it is gratitude that makes us happy. The apostle Paul exhorts us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). Let us then, see life’s events from a grateful positive perspective rather than a bitter negative one.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~ Abraham Lincoln ~