It’s the new year. Hooray! Happy 2016. I have a #wordoftheyear this year. The main reason I feel I’m supposed to have one is because 1) I wasn’t planning on choosing one; 2) I didn’t think hard about it; and 3) It came to me in the shower. That’s how you know, you know? Not during prayer or in church or after much careful reflection. The shower: frequent channel of heavenly communication.
The word is gratitude. It didn’t come totally out of left field because all throughout the fall, I had done a study on this book, Choosing Gratitude, with a lovely group of medical wives. When we started that study, I was finishing up a reread of The Screwtape Letters, and Lewis is really good at expressing how we fall into patterns of entitled thinking. I’m beginning to see more and more how entitlement is so opposed to gratitude. Then I joined the launch team for this book at the end of the year (blogging more about that later). So gratitude has been on my radar for a while.
It’s crazy how easy it is for an entitled attitude to creep into my thoughts, actions, and prayers. I trace so much discontent back to that tricky belief: the one that says I’m owed so many things like free time or feelings of fulfillment. Largely, though, I know I’ve believed a lie that DeMoss calls out in her book more than once: that gratitude is a second-rate virtue, a feeling we can conjure up that resembles that fluffy stuff you find in greeting cards. The reality I’m hoping to live and grow into more and more this year is that gratitude is a requirement for holiness – a virtue we can’t live without if we’re seeking a life of joy and meaning.