I caught part of a discussion going on about gratitude and ingratitude within a discussion panel on one of the Hallmark Channels. A young woman was re-telling a story her granddaddy told her…a metaphor about these two types of people who go through life together… with very different conclusions.
There were two old acquaintances who went fishing every month together. One fisherman was filled with gratitude throughout each fishing adventure while the other complained continuously about the weather, the waves, the sun (or lack of) the temperature….the sandwiches….you name it he was never grateful for simply sharing one of moment’s pleasures with an old colleague.
On this particular trip…they were both in the fishing boat but also duck hunting. The fisherman, who was grateful for everything in his life, saw a duck soar overhead, he pulled out his rifle and shot it in mid-air. Screaming with delight he kept asking his gloomy friend if he had just witnessed that spectacular shot… but with no response.
The happy fisherman told his dog to retrieve the duck and bring it back to the boat. The dog obediently stepped out on the water and ran across it, grabbed the duck, ran back across the water and dumped it in the bottom of the boat. There was dead silence until awed pandemonium broke out….“It was a miracle…did you just see that…did you see what MY dog did?”
“See what?” the grumbling, ungrateful fisherman said rudely, “Just our luck…your stupid dog can’t even swim!”
There are some things in life that really are, as Thomas Jefferson so eloquently wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “truths that are self-evident.” And the longer I live…I realize these simple truths are also paradoxes within themselves.
For example…one of the purest and simplest of all: “YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE.” There is no getting around the truth of this “self-evident” statement. We see it every day in our passing lives…people who think about other people and helping them end up being helped themselves….”What goes around…does come around.” Send out good/caring and it returns in abundance back at you; send out bad/indifference and unfortunately it does the same…in abundance.
Ingrates live in narrow spaces…they don’t venture out much farther than their nose. They are always the victim when things goes wrong, someone else is always the blame….they never see themselves as their own perpetrator in the ill-fated conclusion to a series of poor personal choices. If they weren’t so darn irritating…they would be downright pathetic.
I have gotten to a place in my life where I can not afford to live life one moment without surrounding myself with joy, gratitude, and love. My main two compounds (that do go together every day for me) are my heart and soul. They both yearn for the same thing…life lived to the fullest for as long as I can love and then love some more. No “party poopers” for me…life is too short. “Give me the simple life.”
One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in life is that we can not let the “ungratefuls” suck the marrow out of our own bones. Like Libby says, “Don’t let anybody ever steal your joy.” Somehow we always think we can change them, show them what grateful living looks like and what happiness it brings…but sadly, like the old disgruntled fisherman, they wouldn’t see a daily “miracle” if it bit them on….well…any part of their body.
If we are truly grateful for 1) waking up 2) thanking God for the day and 3) looking and listening for His Voice and His Signs to guide us… then we are living the life God wanted us to live…not trying to co-exist with a compound that is simply not “compoundable?” (is that a word????)
In James 3: 11 the question is asked:” Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”
So until tomorrow…Simple answer: No…not with the same results in the end. Each will only poison the effectiveness of the other. They are not co-habitable…let one go and choose the other…the right one…the grateful one for life. The one who tells God: “Thank You for my life every single day!”
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*John sent me this precious collection of Eva Cate photos taken at random and put together on one of the new photo electronic opportunities. As usual…I did “tear” up….grandchildren’s memories are too precious for dry eyes.
(Auto-generated photos on Google Photos)
After watching the video…I just wanted to hold Eva Cate’s hand and watch her sleep. The oldest grandchild sets the perimeter of time for all the other grandchildren who follow, while we grandparents secretly wish we could keep them all in a tiny little corner of our heart in their tiny little bodies forever.