Slowly, I'm getting back on track. This week I'm focusing on the sermon Grateful in Any Circumstances by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. All quotes come from this sermon unless otherwise noted.
"Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count...Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be...the choice is ours. We can choose to limit our gratitude, based on the blessings we feel we lack. Or we can choose to be like Nephi, whose grateful heart never faltered. 'I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions,' 1 Nephi 18:16. We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer...Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true...How blessed we are if we recognize God’s handiwork in the marvelous tapestry of life. Gratitude to our Father in Heaven broadens our perception and clears our vision. It inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues..."
This study came at a good time for me. It's as profound for me as David A. Bednar's sermon in 2006 on offense. Recently, I witnessed ingratitude from an acquaintance on a grand scale that shocked me deeply. While I don't judge this person, I also can't fathom the situation. Giving pause, I began to explore my own attitudes. Do I demand the king's meat when something much less will fill the bill nicely? Do I ask people to do what I (or my family) ought to do and am capable of doing myself (ourselves)? Do I milk the situation long after the need has passed until it is bone dry? I'm pretty sure I don't, since I prefer to stand on my own two feet as much as possible. However, I may not be grateful for all God's handiwork in my life. I've learned to see the large applique, the miracles, but have I learned to see the fine stitching, the every day, mundane little helps? Seeing the silver lining, the glass half full, the thankful heart will be my new goal. I will choose to be grateful, no matter what.