There is a
wonderful Hasidic parable about the power of gratitude to change the
course of our destiny in a heartbeat, the speed, I imagine, it takes
for a "thank you" to reach Heaven's ears.
Once times were
tough. Two men--both poor farmers--were walking down a country
lane and met their Rabbi. "How is it for you?" the
Rabbi asked the first man. "Lousy," he grumbled,
bemoaning his lot and lack. "Terrible, hard, awful.
Not worth getting out of bed for. Life is lousy."
Now, God was
eavesdropping on this conversation. "Lousy?" the
Almighty thought. "You think your life is lousy now, you
ungrateful lout? I'll show you what lousy is."
Then, the Rabbi
turned to the second man. "And you, my friend?"
Rabbi--life is good. God is so gracious, so generous. Each
morning when I awaken, I'm so grateful for another day, for I know,
rain or shine, it will unfold in wonder and blessings too bountiful to
count. Life is so good."
God smiled as the
second man's thanksgiving soared upwards until it became one with the
harmony of the heavenly hosts. Then the Almighty roared with
delighted laughter. "Good? You think your life is
good now? I'll show you what good is!"
Gratitude is the
most passionate transformative force in the cosmos. When we
offer thanks to God or to another human being, gratitude gifts us with
renewal, reflection, reconnection.