Gratitude happens right now, this moment, at the exact instant when the pleasure for which gratitude is the deepest and only appropriate response, or it doesn’t happen at all.

Now, Gratitude Is

Gratitude is slowing down to savor and enjoy a cup of coffee like the woman pictured here.
Slow down, savor, appreciate, enjoy. Now, Gratitude is. (Adobe Stock Image licensed to Author)

# 12 on my, 99 Life Tips – A List is: Gratitude works its magic in the moment you become aware of something for which to be thankful. The more aware you become, the more the magic of gratitude will follow you throughout your day. It doesn’t work the same when practiced as a generalized, “I’m thankful for my life.” No, gratitude works best and strongest within the context of contemporaneous specificity. 

By word count, this is my longest tip. Still, if I was limited to only one tip, this would be it. This one has the most potential to produce positive, repeatable results. As stated, gratitude works best and strongest within the context of contemporaneous specificity. While correct, the gist can be summed up with: Now, Gratitude is.

But allow me to try for more clarity. Gratitude works most deeply, and its effects are experienced most fully, in specific, definable, instantaneous and momentary awarenesses of appreciation. Hmmm…that’s worse. Try this: Gratitude is the sense of appreciation, wonder, and thankfulness for a single, specific thing, at a single specific moment in time. Yes, that’s closer to it. Now, Gratitude is.

Many believe they are grateful who ”count their blessings”, and can recite instances of good fortune for which they undoubtedly feel thankful as they remember them. But this type of gratitude is a lame imposter compared to the practice of gratitude I’m trying to capture with feeble words. Now, Gratitude is.

When Does Gratitude Happen? Now

The first words of Hebrews 11:1 say, ”Now, Faith Is…”. I could meditate, write, and preach on this segment of a verse forever. Briefly, it declares the season in which faith can be exercised. That season is ”Now”. I submit, true gratitude is the same. Now, Gratitude is. Either Gratitude happens right now, this moment, at the exact instant when the pleasure for which gratitude is the deepest and only appropriate response, or it doesn’t happen at all.

True gratitude is the antithesis, and therefore the antidote, to depression and anxiety. It is not a backward looking remembrance. Nor, is it a journal chronicling pleasant things past. Rather, It is the present tense inhalation of appreciation for the present tense experience of the simplest pleasure. It is the pause to savor that stops time and transforms a right now moment of pleasure into an eternity. Gratitude is the observant mind grasping what makes pleasure pleasurable. And it is the satisfied inner accountant who says, “this is enough.” This awareness is one of profound appreciation and thanksgiving for the experience. And it is a sense of incredible awe at being capable of enjoying such an experience. No, true gratitude and depression cannot coexist. Now, Gratitude is.

Thus, gratitude is to be found in the first savored sip of freshly brewed, creamy coffee. Likewise, it is present at the first light of dawn. Similarly, for the grateful observer, it is the glimpse of Orion in the night sky, or the faintest outline of the crescent moon against a pale blue morning. Gratitude feels the smile on a baby’s face. And, it also invests the good-morning kiss of your love with all the the courage and fortitude you need to face the entire day. Gratitude is the warm coat you pull on against a chill wind. And can also be the childlike glee of a soft spring rain against your upturned face. Are you beginning to see? Now, Gratitude is.

Practiced this way, as a sort of “appreciation radar,” gratitude becomes a bulwark against almost every mental ailment, while enriching and elevating everything in its scope. And friends, there are as many different opportunities to practice it as moments in a day. For,…Now Gratitude is.

Be grateful therefore, and live. Now, Gratitude is.

1 thought on “Now, Gratitude Is”

  1. Pingback: Don't Be a Head Hanger–Lift Up Your Eyes : Greg Proffit Writing

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