Several years ago, at the encouragement of a friend, I started carrying a gratitude rock in my pocket. It’s really just a small, smooth stone that I picked up from the fish pond behind our house. I carry it with me where ever I go.
The idea is simple. Whenever my hand contacts the stone–usually several times a day–I give thanks for whatever is happening at that moment, whether good or bad.
It is amazing how this simple act changes my perspective and, ultimately, my attitude. Instead of seeing the glass half-empty, I see it half-full. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I focus on what I do have–right now.
Someone once wisely told me, “You won’t get what you don’t have until you learn to be grateful for what you do have.” I think that is so true. We so often focus on our lack–what’s missing.
For example, we complain about our lack of a vibrant, real relationship with God. We wish our church were bigger–or smaller. We wish we had a spouse. Or perhaps we wish we didn’t have a spouse. Or maybe we want to change our spouse.
Or we wish we could get a different job, a different boss, or a bigger paycheck. We wish we had more interesting work, more sensitive coworkers, or different hours.
We wish we could live in a different city, a different part of the city, or a different house. We complain about our furniture, our car, and all our other stuff.
To state the obvious, this is not healthy. And do we really think this complaining spirit will lead to better relationships or more abundance?
I’ve always given thanks when I pray, but often it’s just perfunctory. Now, I am trying to give thanks more deliberately. The gratitude rock is one tool that is helping me.
Let me challenge you to push the pause button and write down twenty items you are thankful for right now. Here’s my list: