OF FAITH AND FABLES

By Bob Haynes

An Attitude Of Gratitude Coupled With Grace

 

As my time in treatment for lung cancer comes to a close (for now) I hope that my columns concerning how to deal with adversity have come with one thought in mind, that of being a gift to all those who have so faithfully read my columns. I believe my circumstance of physical adversity has spurred a resource deep within me that somehow is a testimony of the resilience of the human spirit. And, I am so grateful for all those who have come into my life and provided blessing after blessing for me and for those I love.

The last year has been one of tremendous change for me and for my family. Because of the onslaught of this disease that affects so many, I have reached this conclusion. I intend to live the rest of my life out of Grace and Gratitude. I am no longer concerned that the cancer may reappear, nor that any other adversity will come my way. What I have learned through this ordeal is that life is truly a gift and the greatest mark any of us can leave is one of gratitude. I once read these words from philosopher Sri Ramakishna Paramahamsa: “The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails.”

I believe those sails must be set with gratitude and with an attitude of grace. Recently I bought a book at Barnes and Noble with the title “Living Life as a Thank You” speaking of the “Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude.” The authors are Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons. It’s a collection of stories of grace and gratitude. One of the stories concerned the music and life of one of my very favorite singers – Olivia Newton – John. I was fascinated so I spent some time on the internet researching just what has been going on in her life. Here’s what I learned:

In 2006, Olivia Newton-John recorded a CD entitled “Grace and Gratitude” and within that CD was a song of the same name. She recorded it to bring awareness of breast cancer and prostate cancer. In October of this year, she brought back that CD under the title of “Grace and Gratitude Renewed” and once again, she reached out to those who are or were under the throes of cancer. Her song “Grace and Gratitude” is one that reaches out to God in gratitude for life.

Listen to those lyrics: “All I have and all I feel is all because of you. All I reap is all I sow and love is our living proof. Thank you for life, Thank you for everything. I stand here in Grace and Gratitude and I thank you.”

“Seasons come and seasons go, no matter what we choose. A thousand names, a thousand roads all lead to one simple truth. Thank you for life, thank you for everything. I stand here in grace and gratitude and I thank you. I thank you.”

Another author, Gahl Eden Sasson, offered this comment about the book “Living Life as a Thank You.” He said, “In our day and age, the daily practice of gratitude and acceptance is arguably the most important spiritual routine we should all embrace. Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons found an entertaining and wonderful way to make it easy for us to live life as one big thank you!”

So the questions for all of us to ponder this week are this: “What “mark” are we leaving?” and are we leaving that mark with an “Attitude of Gratitude?” Shalom!

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