Saturday, August 15, 2009
Expressing Gratitude and Appreciation
These pictures were taken in Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park last Thursday... I don't know that I would ever tire of the natural beauty here, though I suppose it could be possible that I would take it for granted if I lived here. Perhaps that's one of the good things about being a tourist?
As our program draws to a close these days, we've been about the business of reflecting on the fruits of our experiences here in Australia, the graces we've received, the lessons we've learned, etc. As you know from your own experience, when we spent time counting up our blessings, we can experience a sense of well being and fullness that is quite deep and lasting. But even as good as it feels to us when we take stock personally in this way, there is something even better, even more marvelous, when we express this gratitude to others, and to God.
This morning we had a chance to give feedback to the leadership of the Australian province of the Jesuits, and in all that, there was this palpable sense of being privileged, that is, to be grateful for that which we could never earn or merit... this gift of seven months here in this beautiful country, the hospitality of the hundreds and hundred of people we met along the way, and maybe most of all to one another for friendship, which is a gift beyond measuring.
There have been times when I've heard people say to me or to others, "you're worth it," as if to suggest that somehow we're entitled to the good things that come into our lives. To be honest, I think that whether this is true or not, it misses the boat entirely. Somehow, feeling and expressing a sense of unmerited privilege and deep appreciation is so much more satisfying than thinking that I am entitled. Does this resonate with you?