“Today is gone, it was not fun. Tomorrow is another one. Every day from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” (With apologies to Dr. Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish)
Certain Seuss-isms have lodged in my brain and pop out at times to bother my children. The good Doctor actually wrote “today was fun” and I tend to quote this one properly at the end of a good but tiring day. But the day in question had been stressful and I was glad to see the end of it.
Instead of his usual Seuss-induced eye roll, my 15-year-old stepped into my personal space, index finger outstretched, and challenged, “Name three good things that happened today. Fast.”
There had been good things, not least being that although anxiety had hounded me all day I hadn’t crumpled. I was just tired of the repetitive battle.
He didn’t move. “Three good things.”
I don’t remember now which three I told him, but his moment of tough love is up there with the best things in that day.
How quickly we forget the good, or focus on the bad instead. And as Ann Voskamp says in One Thousand Gifts, even the bad can be a gift if we choose to recognize God there and continue giving thanks.
Gratitude has to be intentional. Deliberate. Radical.
For further reading:
At A Voice Crying Out into the Wilderness, Roger Tharpe reminds us of the importance of remembering the good.
At Other Food: daily devos, Violet Nesdoly affirms that gratitude is a choice.
And you’re bound to find something valuable about gratitude at Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience.