Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Why is it hard to be grateful?

I've been thinking about this recently. Why it is so hard to be grateful. It seems, in the immortal words of Joannie Mitchell... "You don't know what you got 'till it's gone..." I know I tend to be like that a lot. Only this week, after catching a stomach virus from my one year old son, did I miss my good health. Any other time I'd take my health for granted--especially when downing a Big Mac or Sonic Burger. And yet, now that I have a familiarity with my watercloset that I wish for no one else, I'm grateful that my health over the years has been good, and yearn for its return.

I'm like that with the church I serve. We have grown at an incredible rate over the past 2 years of our existence. And yet, I can't help but feel unsatisfied with where we are. I constantly want more. More people in the pews...More programs in our offerings to the congregation...Greater spirituality among our people and their prayer life.

Can't I just be joyful at where we are?

I'm not talking about giving up on the vision of our community, but rather being joyful for all God has given us!

Maybe humans are not programmed like that. Or maybe we've learned some bad habits from our consumer, production driven society.

Tomorrow, May 26, the Calendar for the day commemorates Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury. Although Christianity had been brought to England before the 300's, by the time Augustine landed in England (early 600's), the Viking invasions had done considerable damage to its religious foundations. It was Augustine, and later successors to the throne of Canterbury who brought organization and vision to the Church in England.

But can you imagine what he and his companions faced in those early days? Days of building from the ground up. Our task, I assume, is a much simpler one. And our calling is to faithfulness and gratitude and joy, not ambition and money and prestige.

I know this doesn't answer my question, but maybe gaining some new perspective on our condition by lessons from the past can help deliver us from the sin of an ungrateful spirit.

We beseech you, loving Father, pour into our hearts the grace of an abounding gratitude; that we may ever praise and glorify you for the goodness and mercy that have followed us all the days of our life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.