Sometimes it is so easy to be grateful; other times it is more of a struggle. I am writing this on holiday, in Iceland, surrounded by beautiful scenery and sharing the awe of this exceptional landscape with two friends. As the students I teach would say ‘what's not to like’. Gratitude comes easily. I am surrounded by gifts from God, in people and in places, so gratitude is my only response. But it is not always this simple and our lives are not always this calm. What about the hard days when we feel unappreciated by work colleagues or unsupported by friends. How can I be grateful then? What about the days when the things we have, see and need to do don’t feel like gifts from God. What about when we are ill or those around us receive news that is unexpectedly bad?
I take solace in the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh who, in his poem ‘The Great Hunger’, states that ‘God is in the bits and pieces of everyday’. Perhaps I need to look in the unexpected places, in the small and seemingly insignificant parts of my day, to see that God has given me unexpected gifts for which I am grateful; courage in diversity, a smile offered, a kindness given or accepted. -- Teresa Keogh, Becoming Grateful Disciples