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Gratitude is the most powerful meditation of a lifetime

Thank you: “Every Friday evening at sunset, Old Ed walked to the end of his favourite pier, with a bucket of prawns clutched in his bony hand. Within moments he was surrounded by screeching and squawking seagulls. Ed would toss prawns to the hungry birds, all the while saying with a smile, ‘Thank you. Thank you’.”

Jesus said, “Were not all ten made clean? Where are the other nine?” – Luke 17:17

WE all have those moments when things often go unnoticed or unappreciated because we think they’re either insignificant or we take them for granted.

We forget to express gratitude, or we simply allow the opportunity for thanks to pass by.

That is especially true for the daily countless blessings we receive from God. 

Our daily lives move so fast.

We rush around, often attempting to fit 32 hours of activities into a 24-hour day.

This hectic schedule can cause us to overlook all the little joys life has to offer.

Don’t be afraid to make time to stop and smell the roses.

Listen to the sound of your kids laughing, enjoy the cool, crisp air of the first autumn day, or take a walk around the block to clear your mind and give yourself a mental break.

Practise gratitude.

Gratitude helps us value the small things we often take for granted because we start paying attention to the good things in life.

There is a story told by author Max Lucado in his book, In the Eye of the Storm.

Every Friday evening at sunset, Old Ed walked to the end of his favourite pier, with a bucket of prawns clutched in his bony hand.

Within moments he was surrounded by screeching and squawking seagulls.

Ed would toss prawns to the hungry birds, all the while saying with a smile, “Thank you. Thank you”.

In a few minutes the bucket was empty, but Ed would remain staring out at the ocean, lost in thought. 

Eddie Rickenbacker was the founder of Eastern Airlines in the United States.

In the First World War he was a pilot and became America’s first ace.

In the Second World War he was an instructor and military advisor and flew missions with combat pilots.

On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew crashed into the ocean.

Miraculously, all the men survived, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough shark-infested waters of the Pacific, in the blazing sun.

By the eighth day their rations ran out – no food, no water.

They were hundreds of kilometres from land and no one knew where they were or even if they were alive.

They needed a miracle and so they prayed together.

They tried to sleep, but all they could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft.

Suddenly Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull.

Eddie sat perfectly still, and then, with a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he grabbed it and wrung its neck.

He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal of it – a slight meal for eight men.

Then they used the intestines for bait.

With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait – and the cycle continued.

With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigours of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea. 

Eddie Rickenbacker was a true American hero, who felt he owed his life to the seagulls.

Eddie lived many years beyond that ordeal of being lost at sea, but never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull.

And he never stopped saying, “Thank you”.

That’s why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of prawns and a heart full of gratitude.

I used to live for the big moments, but life has a way of teaching us.

Now I value the small moments, making a point of counting my blessings every day, always giving thanks to God.

St Paul teaches us to pray always and in all circumstances of your life with gratitude in your heart.

To have an attitude of gratitude means to express thankfulness and appreciation in all areas of your life, for the big as well as the small.

Gratitude is the most powerful meditation of a lifetime.

Gratitude comes so easily if we allow it.

As you focus on gratitude, you will quickly find your way home to God – for in giving gratitude, we are in turn blessed for giving it.

It is a gift for both the giver and the receiver.

When we give gratitude, the value of our life increases, and joy fills our beings.

Be thankful for everything that happens in your life.

The greatest blessings of humanity are within.

Be like Old Ed – smile and say, thank you; thank you to the One.

Have a golden day and treasure life.

Written by: Guest Contributor
Catholic Church Insurance

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