Allen, I’m confused. I read your recent post “The Truth About Gratitude,” and I agree with you. But haven’t you, on occasion, suggested that your congregation members write down what they are grateful for? If gratitude is dualism, why would you do that?
I’m guilty as charged. In the last year or two, on occasion, I have even suggested that people keep a Gratitude Journal, and I don’t take back the suggestion. Here’s why.
Many years ago a man named Carlton fell in a deep ditch of debt. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t climb out. Every time he got his head above the bills, more debt piled on, and he was back where he started.
Carlton read every Truth book he could get his hands on. He listened to tapes, attended church regularly, and followed all the suggestions given to him – hoping, of course, to get out of debt. This wasn’t Carlton’s only problem. While struggling to climb out of debt, he was diagnosed with cancer.
Every day, Carlton did his “spiritual work,” hoping for a financial windfall. One day Carlton said to me, “Allen, Truth is not working for me. No matter what I say or do, I can’t get on top of these bills. But I’m not giving up.”
Although Carlton said he saw no evidence of Truth working in his life, he was overlooking one fact. There were no more malignant tumors in his body. Carlton had no radiation treatments, no chemotherapy, no medical intervention whatsoever, yet Carlton was cancer free.
Carlton, like many others, was so focused on the “one thing” happening that he overlooked all the other wonderful things that were happening in his life. God’s wholeness was evidenced in his life, but he overlooked it hoping and waiting for the “one thing” to happen.
Reader, what would have happened if Carlton kept a record — a journal — of the wonderful happenings in his life? Rather than being frustrated by what wasn’t happening in his life, he’d jump for joy because of the many ways God’s presence was revealed in his life.
This is why I periodically suggest that people who attend my church keep some loose version of a “Gratitude Journal.” Because of the “one thing” which seems to be delayed, I know many who are overlooking the wonderful things that are happening every day.