Happy New Year! I took time during the Holiday season to drive from Wisconsin to Central Texas to spend time with members of my family. When I told people I was going to drive instead of fly, the most common response I heard was, “do you think it is safe to drive that far this time of year?” I assured them that I would follow regional weather reports and cut my trip short if necessary. As it turned out, I left Texas a day early to avoid projected bad weather. When I arrived at home and pulled into my driveway, I said a silent prayer of thanks for my safe travels.
Two days later en route to the YMCA, my car stalled and the engine light came on. I found myself getting angry and then the following question crossed my mind. “What would have happened if the car stalled and the engine light came on during my multi-state road trip?” That simple question shifted my attitude from anger to gratitude because I was only four blocks instead of four hundred miles from home.
How often do we think about what we do not have instead of what we have? How many times a day does our thoughts focus on what’s lacking in our lives as opposed to the abundance that surrounds us? How different would life be if an attitude of gratitude was cultivated and we were mindful to say thank you to others, our selves and to life? As we settle into a new year, consider cultivating an attitude of gratitude. I encourage you to be alert to thanking others for the significant and mundane things done for you each day.
As for my car, there was a crack in the ignition coil and it and the spark plugs needed to be replaced. Following my own advice, I thanked the service techs, grateful that I had the resources to pay for the repairs.
I would love to hear from you. You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic at http://uuyayaoc.blogs.uua.org/.
Living My Faith,
Pastoral Message, January 2011