Grateful or great?
I live five minutes walk from the centre of our little village, and three minutes walk from the tiny supermarket which serves as my second pantry for when I forget to buy milk or run out of bread. It's run by two very personable ladies who both have blond bobs and wear striped t-shirts. They've been in charge now for two years and I'm just beginning to work out which one is Linda and which one is Marie. Shame on me, I know.
Linda and Marie have embraced our friendly village and are working to get even more town spirit going with the blackboard they put up outside their shop recently. Once a week they change the topic and passers-by are free to write their ideas down for everyone to see.
This week they wrote, "How do you become happy?" on the board. I was inspired to share what I've been learning recently about thankfulness, so I picked up the chalk and wrote, "Be grateful." Then I dusted my fingers off and walked off feeling rather pleased with myself.
Today, about four days later, I walked past the shop again. Other people had added some answers to the board, but I was a little bit dismayed to find that my statement had been tampered with.
Someone had rubbed out 'ful' and added 'a' to what was left. My statement, 'Be grateful' had been changed to 'Be great'.
And that, my friends, is the difference between happiness as most people see it, and happiness as God sees it. I've spent enough years trying to be great to know that while greatness might bring a lot of things, it doesn't bring nearly as much happiness as gratefulness does. A habit of thankfulness brings contentment, peace, enjoyment and delight. And let me tell you from personal experience, all those things add up to a whole lot of happiness.
Which would you choose? Being great? Or being grateful?