Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's Never Too Late to be Grateful

Meet Emmit (hi Emmit).  There he is with Tilly, who is still adjusting to his presence.
Emmit spent the first ten years of his life chained to a dog house outside.  Then he spent over one hundred days in a shelter.  Then, he had the good fortune to be taken in by a foster couple, who took great care of him for three months.

It seems likely that Emmit is thankful to be in a new home.  It's important to be thankful - it shows our appreciation for what we have.  Being grateful is a nuanced difference.  It implies direction.  To whom do we show our thankfulness?  When we involve another, it is gratitude.

Like so many things, we are meant to be in community with others.  Being thankful all by yourself may be pleasant.  But when we are grateful, we recognize the role of others.

Emmit's sweetness reflects his gratitude toward those who rescued him from the shelter, the couple who housed him for months, and hopefully soon for being in his forever home.  He is thankful the ordeal is over, and grateful to those who helped along the way.

When we look at all the good in our lives, we can be thankful.  But so much of what we have, especially in our culture, has little to do with our own achievements.  We may be thankful we don't suffer as others do, but that is an accident of birth.  It needs direction, and there is only God to reflect our true gratitude.  The Lord receives our thanks with a grateful heart.  Hmmm, there's a song in there somewhere.

I'm grateful for those who helped Emmit get him out of his situation and into his new home.  He's such a good and sweet dog.  Yesterday, I got to see him run at a great, loping pace across the yard.  His expression was pure joy.  Emmit has been freed from so much.

And so have I.  For that, I am overwhelmingly grateful.

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