Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Gratitude Day

Jack's Gratitude List
I have so much to be grateful for this year! A wonderful son, three awesome sisters, a terrific family, a great boyfriend, a kind ex-husband, an abundance of amazing, loving friends, good neighbors, fulfilling work, good health and a strong spiritual practice. Of course, I've always had a lot for which to be grateful, but today I'm aware of all the good in my life. 
   Sometimes it's not always easy to find the good. But I firmly believe (call it Faith) that I am given what I need when I need it, if only I will be willing ask for help and then (very important) to accept that help as it is given by God. Yes, I'm a Buddhist who sees the workings of a compassionate and loving Presence (call it God) in the world. 
   Last week a wise friend shared the following story, and it expresses perfectly this sense of willingness to accept, to be open, to be aware and non-judgmental. With this in mind, I can also be grateful for the difficulties I've faced, for the losses I've suffered, for the plans (my plans!) that didn't pan out the way I wanted them to. Without these seeming problems, opportunities for learning and growth would not have occurred. Turns out my adversities are gifts as well—I just have to shift my perspective...and be grateful for all the storms and all the helicopters I am given.

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
   A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
   The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
   As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
   The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
   The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
   A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
   Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
   When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
   And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

No comments:

Post a Comment