The Wonder Of A Grateful Heart

Have you ever considered how the simplest of things are there every day and we just take them for granted? I’m not talking about the car you drive or the smart phone that is glued to your ear. No, I am talking about those things that are just there day in and day out and we hardly even notice them. They have a profound impact on some, but we are so accustomed to them, and so busy, that they are nearly invisible to the adult world.

These things make life so much better and so much more beautiful, and they do it with an ease that causes us to miss their significance and importance. The eyes of children see these things with fresh wonder. Their boundless enthusiasm often overtakes me. I can watch them for hours staring with wide-eyed amazement at things we adults just walk by and never even give a second glance.

What are these hidden wonders that can transform a life filled with boredom, into a moment-by-moment masterpiece? They are the unrecognized, unnoticed things that cost nothing, give everything and are present to the moment for all who take the time to bask in their fleeting presence. Let me list a few that you no doubt have missed on your rush to live life.

  • A flurry of brilliant orange leaves painted on the canvas of a fall wind;
  • A lake of liquid diamonds glistening in the early morning summer sun;
  • The electric symphony of a thunder storm, flashing its way into a night sky;
  • The soft coldness of a million feathered snowflakes on a trackless field,
  • The fragile-winged delicacy of a Monarch butterfly on a child’s fingertip;
  • The ancient, lonely whistled-cry of a Loon on a summer evening lake.

Children stop in their innocence and are mesmerized by such things. It’s amazing to watch them become transfixed for an instant as they tumble through life. Their eyes will see or their ears will catch what all the adults around them have missed, and they are absorbed by it. I marvel that they can still see and hear the magnificent wonder of the simplest things. More than that, I am envious. They will take the time to pause, look with open-eyed wonder and drink that moment in while others blunder on with more “important” matters.

Such is the power of a grateful heart. It will stop at any moment and recognize the fleeting importance of a cloud studded sky. It will pause in mid-stride and drink in a crimson sunset or the rich, earthy smell of a wet spring field. It has vision to see the jagged beauty of a broken pane of glass or it can hold with attentioned-curiosity the tilted symmetry of a weathered barn that is leaning into a hundred and fifty years of wind.

If you have lost your child-like ability to enjoy life, let me encourage you to go back and find it. Return to the place of Godly simplicity and childish purity that gives your eyes the clarity to see  and your ears the sensitivity to hear the whispers of life that others miss. Best of all it unlocks the heart and makes it grateful for the simplest of things … like the taste of chocolate, the smell of fresh-baked cookies or the satisfied release that comes from an itch well scratched.

This is a treasure no money can buy for you, and no trouble can take from you. It is innocence as God intended, personified in the face of every small child I see. Find this peace once again and you will never lack a smile on your face or joy in your heart. You will continually rediscover the incredible beauty of all that God has placed around you. What I mean is, don’t just live your life. Start each day with wild, unrestrained, child-like open-mindedness and you will once again begin to enjoy the wonder of it!

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