I watched a documentary on the rescue last year of 12 young Thai soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave. What impressed me most was that after the boys were found, but before they were rescued, the parents of the boys wrote letters of gratitude to the coach, thanking him for keeping their children safe. It would have been understandable had the parents blamed him, but their choice to express gratitude instead, I am convinced, helped to ensure the safety of these children.
We don’t need to wait for something to happen or circumstances to change before we can express gratitude because, I believe, gratitude can have a powerful effect in determining the outcome. As a Christian, I’ve been inspired by how Christ Jesus, often expressed gratitude before healing or supplying a need.
An experience I had some years ago proved to me the value of expressing gratitude even in the face of what initially appeared to be a disastrous situation.
It was 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday. I was returning home after a night out with friends and my front door was ajar! It took a few seconds for me to realize that my home had been burglarized. My heart sank when I realized amongst the items missing was my computer. I was in the midst of a major project, which was due to be downloaded the following Friday. As well, my back-up disk that had been in the hard drive was also gone.
But what was even more disturbing was that all three of my cats had disappeared. I called the police right away. While I was on the phone, one by one, my cats returned and appeared totally unfazed by the experience. I felt such a wave of gratitude.
As I looked around, I realized that the burglars hadn’t trashed the place or left it in disarray. They’d taken a few items, packed them into one of my suitcases and left the rest of the house virtually untouched. Again, I felt a wave of gratitude.
The police arrived soon after. This was surprising, as I was living in a high-crime area and often the police are overwhelmed with calls on Saturday nights. I felt so grateful that they’d come so quickly.
What was most remarkable to me about this whole experience was the feeling of being buoyed by this sense of gratitude. It felt as though gratitude was carrying me forward throughout this whole experience, and it makes me wonder what the outcome would have been had I reacted differently to this experience.
Lyn Drake, Surrey