Pomegranates by Chanan Mazal

Pomegranates by Chanan Mazal

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Double The Wonder

" I would maintain that thanks
 are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude
 is happiness doubled by wonder."
G.K. Chesterton


In my quest to live intentionally awake in Christ I have discovered a key piece to the puzzle.  As I continue to explore these ancient spiritual disciplines in my daily rule of life, I find myself returning to the habit of capturing wonder.  

Writer, G.K. Chesterton affirmed some of my own findings on this subject matter.  When he spoke to the connection between gratitude and wonder, I believe he was on to something.

I remember listening to a sermon a couple of years ago from my friend Mr. Morris - who insists that I call him Bob.  Bob's message struck a cord with me when he spoke about the sin of ingratitude.

When we refuse to acknowledge God and live with a grateful heart we grieve our Father.  To fail to notice His beauty and wonder may be one of the most subtle, overlooked sins of our generation.

Thanksgiving looks differently from that perspective, doesn't it?

Offering thanks is not just a polite sentiment to appease God  - it is an issue of obedience and reflects the true condition of the heart.  It is a moment by moment conscious choice to obey His word.

When we give thanks an incredible exchange takes place.  The thanks we offer up to God ends up being a beautiful gift that returns back to us.

Not only does it delight and honour our Father, but when we give God thanks, He in turn uses it to shape us in His image.

  Gratitude is the catalyst for true
spiritual transformation.

The discipline of thanksgiving enables us to shift the center of our lives off of ourselves (our wants, our fears, our wounds, our problems) and on to God.  Think about it...it is next to impossible to be anxious or angry and full of gratitude in the exact same moment.

It is in this place that we are truly free.  It is in this place of gratitude that we begin to live attentive to the wonder of Christ in and all around us. 

We spend so much time trying to figure out God's will for our lives when He actually makes our calling quite clear and simple.

It is our Father's will for us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  Thanks should not be dependent on if we "feel" grateful or if things are going our way.  

Thanksgiving is the only response to the audacious love that comes from abiding in the sweet fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Father,

Forgive us for the times we have lived with a deserving attitude rather than with a humble appreciation for the undeserved blessings in our life.  We confess that we are too often consumed with ourselves and fail to acknowledge Your beauty all around us.  Forgive us when we have neglected to return to give you credit and thanks for answered prayers.  Lord, have mercy on us for elevating the gifts and blessings above You, our true Gift.  Help us to choose to live awake in gratitude and wonder.

In the name of Jesus,


Amen

May our gratitude for wonders great and small cover the whole earth with thanksgiving. 

Here are some excerpts from my own gratitude journal today...

Thank you Father for...


Your loving kindness, tenderness and patience





Your resurrected life in me





Forgiving the times I have failed to give you thanks




For Kenneth & our 4th wedding anniversary





For The Castle Clan ~ Love, laughter and health! 






For glorious golden fields of corn & my happy boots!





The brilliant colours and fresh scent of Fall









The gift of reading on a warm autumn day




For Your provision and harvest
 (& my very 1st red pepper - at last!)





For delicious, tart, custard-filled, homemade apple schnitz pie and for Belinda who is a pie maker extraordinaire!
  Seriously, don't you just want to grab a fork and dive in!





Let's follow Chesterton's lead and ... 


double our wonder
 by
cultivating a life of gratitude!















5 comments:

  1. Amen!
    True thanksgiving flows from a wonder-filled heart.
    Just like a child's "Thank You!!" when they are filled with wonder by the smallest gift or surprise. That we would live each day in awe of all the big and small signs of God's presence in and around us, just like you said Nicole.
    Thank YOU for sharing your heart and for reminding me to be still and contemplate the wonder that is God in my own life!
    Happy Thanksgiving.
    May God give you many more reasons to be thankful in the year to come!

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  2. my sweet friend, Laura - Happy thanksgiving to you and your family. I am so grateful for our friendship and that you take the time to share your thoughts and heart. May your life be filled with His wonders!

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  3. Dear Nicole,finally the flurry of the past months is settling and I am catching up on your blog posts. What a sweet belated surprise to find one of my pies so beautifully presented and photographed! Thank you for the honour. :) And I can't believe that it was already your 4th wedding anniversary this past fall. Belated Happy Anniversary to you and Kevin. In your lovely photo you look like two peas from the same pod, two soulmates!

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  5. Thank you Belinda so much for the warm anniversary wishes. Your pies are certainly deserving of honourable mention - they are absolutely delicious. The pies are also so beautiful that it does make it hard to dive into them - but who could resist!

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