Gratitude is something that has been an important part of my approach to life - but Simon Barrow has captured this virtue beautifully in the following comments.
Gratitude he says is about ... recognising that the life we share is beyond possession. To see the world and everything in it as God’s creation ... is not to propose a particular theory of origins (certainly not one in unnecessary conflict with the gifts of scientific endeavour and knowledge). It is, rather, to receive the world as sheer gift – specifically, the gift of a God who, having absolutely no need to get caught up in our quarrelling and jockeying for status and influence, is able to love without condition, manipulation and limit.
In this sense, the invitation at the heart of the Christian message is to let go and give thanks. Simple, but incredibly difficult without good teachers, encouragers and exemplars. So, apart from shelter, health and sustenance, what we need most of all in life is people and relationships founded on the recognition that love is not about gaining control, it is about setting free; and that gratefulness is not about being glad we got our own way, it is about being glad that often we do not.
For those of us who are Christian, this is what being joined to the Body of Christ is (or ought to be) all about. Others may discover the same spirit of liberating gratitude is different ways and places. But the light of recognition in our eyes tells us that though our labels may be different, the truth – God’s truth, some of us would say – remains the same.
With gratitude to Simon Barrow "Cultivating Tough Gratitude" June 29, 2009 Ekklesia