Tuesday, January 20, 2009

At Least I Am Not Being Chased by a Lion

I had the privilege of attending a series of religious lectures last weekend.  I am feeling inspired and uplifted and would like to share.  One of the talks was on gratitude.  Now, I realize that this topic is a far cry from new, and in recent years, has all but been talked to death!  Its surge in popularity, however, should not diminish its significance. The speaker relayed a story, that both amused and aroused thought. As a missionary in an African country, he asked a young man that he was teaching to offer prayer.  In the prayer the young man expressed that he was grateful that they were not being chased by lions. At first the missionary thought, "What!? That is crazy!" But as he related the story to us, he said he realized then, and now, that someone on this planet is likely being chased by a lion, and he is indeed grateful, every day, that it is NOT him!
Like any of us, I have trials. Some that are easier to overcome than others. Some may be lifelong battles or burdens, but I do believe it is partly in gratitude that we find peace in times of adversity. The speaker encouraged us to write down (I know cliche, but it works!) 100 things that we are grateful for. That sounds daunting, but it breaks down like this:
10 things each in these 10 fun-filled, thought-provoking, gratitudinous categories...
-Living people
-People who have died
-Physical abilities
-Things in nature
-Things you are grateful for today
-Places on earth
-Modern inventions
-Gospel principles
The topic and motto for this lecture was, "I can do hard things!"  I know full well that it is in stretching ourselves that we grow.  It is in overcoming adversities that we are strengthened, but sometimes I tell ya, I think there is no way in heck I can do THIS hard thing, and please just let me sit here and be average, undistinguished, unexceptional and blissfully mediocre!  But deep down I know that God wants more than that for me.  He wants each of us to reach our full potential and often that takes time in the proverbial refiners fire. Dang it anyway! Maybe if I just hang out with exceptional people--do you think that will work?  Ya, me neither. So, for today, I will continue to strive to be better, and be grateful that at least I am not being chased by a lion.
Quote of the Day: "It is never too late to be who you might have been."
--Russell Best TV producer


  1. Excellent post. Thanks for the "assignment". I'm going to tackle it tonight.it tonight

  2. thanks for the great idea! I know what is going in my journal tonight!

  3. You should be a writer. You are very eloquent. Have you visited the Happy Living blog? The link is on my page. They are doing this cool hiatus from spending thing that you might be interested in. It links you to a blog called Simple Lovely. Anyway...

  4. I love that story! I read your blog yesterday but didn't get a chance to respond and so came back today. Today has been a not very fun day for me though, so I am glad I came back as it reminded me that as bad as it has been, at least I wasn't chased by a lion. :-) And I don't think we can ever talk about gratitude too much, I think it is a pre-requisite to accessing the atonement. Also, I loved the list you gave. I often try to sit down and think of all the things I am grateful for. This list greatly helps me to do that. Thanks so much!

  5. None of you could know how much I have needed this encouragement and friendship this week. Thank you all.