Emailing with a friend, I asked her the great lesson she’d learned in this previous year. She replied that:
Gratitude is only truly gratitude when coupled with contentment.
I began to wonder how thankful I was in my daily life. To be quite frank, I think this is one of those things that I don’t necessarily ponder all too often, save for the very often impression of gratitude I feel to live in such a dynamic city as London. I think sometimes I get very consumed in my independence. I do everything for myself. I am single, I have no dependents when my pay-check comes in each month, I am terribly liberal with myself when it comes to spending money and time. There are very few laws in a life like that. Gratitude for real things is definitely something I can work on.
I wondered what examples stuck out to me lately related to gratitude. I was reminded of the words of King Benjamin that I’d read recently in Mosiah 2:
19 And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!
Isn’t that delicious? “O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!” This sounds to me like the plea of a parent. Actually it sounds very familiar. I grew up, luckily, with a Mother who often admonished us to see God in all things. A beautiful piece of music, a vibrant tree, a dramatic downpour. “Isn’t Heavenly Father amazing?” she’d say. Do I attribute all greatness to my God?
20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
And here’s where my friend Kaley’s sentiments come into play- contentment: how do we manage to achieve contentment?
22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.