July 25

Gratitude:  Enjoying the journey

       I’ve said a great deal about pain and suffering throughout the pages of this book.  I promised that there is a way to know peace and serenity in a world of pain and suffering.  If you have been following along you probably know the answer.  I don’t need to tell you that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. 

       You also know I have maintained that peace and serenity – happiness – is a choice.  In fact, suffering doesn’t really exist in the universe.  Suffering seems so real because we choose to believe in it.  We give our suffering its power by resisting what is happening. 

       I am convinced that we can choose our thoughts, and therefore, we can choose to be happy.  We can also choose to be miserable.  Our thoughts come and go, but only the thoughts that we choose to give energy to will determine our state of mind.

       Did you know that happiness is a choice?  Did you know that you had the power the whole time?  That’s right, you have the power of free choice, and choosing your thoughts is the key to your happiness.  Part of your purpose is to enjoy your journey through this life.  The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. 

       Practicing your purpose begins and ends with gratitude.  If you can choose to be grateful, then you are going to enjoy the journey you are on.  Gratitude will give you focus, it will give you fuel and it will give you the faith to make the journey.

       What does it mean to be grateful? 

       Gratitude means that you are focused, always mindful of God’s grace.  The focus is not on the glass-half-empty, but a glass full and running over!  When you are focused on God’s enormous grace and love, you can’t help but be grateful… and joyful!

       Gratitude will give you the energy – the fuel – for the journey.  Taking action requires energy, physical energy.  It also requires mental and emotional energy.  You will need energy to keep going.  When you are overcome with anger and resentment, you will lose your energy because it will spill out all over the place.  Gratitude will fill you with the fuel for the journey.

       Gratitude connects you with the heart of God.  Gratitude will increase your faith, not only in God, but in yourself, and in the entire process.  It takes great faith to make this journey because there are no guarantees, there is no crystal ball and every step is a step into the unknown.

       It is possible to choose happiness, to be grateful  for all things and to focus on what’s real, not what’s in your head.  Your reality can be one of gratitude, abundance and joy.  Your journey here on earth can be full of life, abundant life, and endless joy.

       The one who is willing to practice gratitude will learn to enjoy the journey, and always experience the peace of God.  You can know serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things that you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.