I believe that we should always express thanks and gratitude to God for all that we have, whether considered meager, grand, or something in between. Sometimes what may seem meager can be a greater blessing than that which seems grand.
In addition to giving thanks, I think it is important to demonstrate how much we value and appreciate the gifts we receive by taking adequate care of them and not take them for granted. Material things should be scrupulously maintained. Non-material gifts should be nurtured, developed, and used only for good.
If we have a house or a car and we let them get run down due to neglect, then clearly we send a message of arrogance and presumption. If we take our friends and family for granted, then we dishonor them, ourselves, and God. If we are aware that we have special talents and do not use and develop them, or become arrogant and self aggrandized, then we show disdain rather than grateful awe.
We like to take credit for our accomplishments and success. Of course, these require determination and hard work, but it is God who makes our success possible. After all, it is He who imbues us with our special talents, and who opens the doors of opportunity. We should always acknowledge his blessings and gifts with humility.
Let us not forget one of our greatest gifts—our body. A healthy body is one of the essential components for achieving harmony between spirit, mind, and body. It too should never be taken for granted. Neglect of the body is a sign of a disheveled spirit, a lack of respect for one’s self, and ingratitude to God for the life He gave us.
I believe we have an obligation to maintain and care for our bodies. We need to keep our bodies clean, well groomed, and fit, not for the sake of vanity, but to demonstrate our gratitude to God for the body He gave us. We should do everything we can to keep our bodies healthy and free of disease, including following a healthy diet, and not overeating.
Finally, we need to show love, respect, and appreciation for the earth and all of its inhabitants. The metaphor of the earth as our mother is very appropriate since she provides sanctuary and nurture for all living things. She provides everything we need and shelters us from the unforgiving vacuum and death rays of space.
But we need to care for her just as she does us and not take her bounty and protection for granted. Just like our human mothers, she needs our love, help, and support. Her bounty has limits that we must understand and respect. She is not here to only serve humanity, but rather to promote harmony among all living things through their mutual interdependence upon one another.
We have an obligation to conserve her resources, and protect all of her “offspring.” She is perhaps the most wondrous of all gifts from God since it is she who sustains us in this life.
Our gratitude for the things that God gives us, both large and small, should be ongoing through daily expression of thanks and humility, and by treasuring all the gifts and blessings we receive. That is, we should be in a constant state of grateful awe. When we are truly grateful to God and make it a point to let Him know, then we give Him the reverence He so greatly deserves.
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