Each day we see life flowing all around us in the people we see and meet, in the work or play that we do, and in the things that we touch with our senses or our minds, and life is full indeed. But this fullness is of two different types: either the fullness of complaints and disappointments, or the fullness of thanksgiving and gladness. This fullness is not set by any outward circumstances, or by others, or by fate, or even by God. It is set truly by our own conscious or unconscious choices that we make as we move through each day—hour by hour and minute by minute. We have the freedom to live in a world of blessedness, hope, and love by choosing most wisely where to set our heart. We need to learn just how to see these choices, fill our hearts with gladness, and feel the warmth of love from God Himself. This process is the discovery of how to live a life full with all the good things God has prepared for us. We can find this bright path with a sure compass, for He is reached and touched mostly by thankfulness.
The goodness of God is present in each moment that we live, but we can’t see this because our focus is often on momentary pleasures or goals that seem good in our limited perspective. God, however, is not limited by selfish desires or by partial perspectives. He always has our very best interests in mind, and consciously chooses to bring these to us, but as young and inexperienced children, we often don’t see clearly at all what are really in our best interests in the long run. Thus even though His goodness is absolute and unending, it is not always apparent to us. If we choose to stop and openly wonder why something is happening to us instead of just reacting, and then ask God to show us the good in it, even if it seems painful or unpleasant, then something more will happen, especially after we get used to doing this every day. Then beyond the wonder of why, slowly life will be seen as different, larger, and more meaningful. Slowly we will see that Goodness is reaching out to us, caring for us, and holding us closely with unselfish love. It is in this awareness, and then in giving thanks, that God’s warmth can fill our hearts. May the Lord of Life open our hearts more fully today to touch and receive this sweet warmth, and gladly give thanks to Him, as King David said, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 106:1 in Septuagint numbering; 107:1 in Hebrew numbering)
The Monks of St. Isaac of Syria Skete