Fred La Plante is the pastor of the Juneau Church of the Nazarene. (Courtesy / Fred La Plante)

Fred La Plante is the pastor of the Juneau Church of the Nazarene. (Courtesy / Fred La Plante)

Living and Growing: Having an attitude of gratitude

Our world is quickly enveloped in negativity, but that attitude doesn’t help us. We need to be more grateful. Let’s define gratitude as being thankful and warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received.

We can talk about how it’s always raining around here or the dire circumstances we find ourselves in, but that leads to a downward spiral that does not help. We need to get out of that downward spiral.

It is important to be thankful for what we have and dwell more on the positives than the negatives. It’s not that we ignore the problems, but by having an attitude of gratitude we may be able to come up with solutions to our problems.

We all have different experiences in life, but we all could learn to be more grateful — but how? Here is one of the ways you can be more grateful: when you wake up in the morning, think of something you are grateful for, even if it is just the fact that you are breathing. When having coffee or breakfast in the morning, find something to be grateful for, like the warmth of the cup. Before you go to bed at night, think of something to be grateful for.

My wife and I moved here a year ago in the rain. A few days after arriving, we woke to a clear day. Wow, what beauty is all around us! A few months later, we got to see the northern lights. I am so grateful for the opportunity to live in Juneau.

There have been hardships for us all, but during November let’s all think about what we are grateful for. If you are a person of faith you can thank God for His provisions, even amid the storms. If you are not a person of faith you can be thankful for the people around you who are encouraging you.

Let’s take a month off of seeing just the negative all around and think about our many blessings.

Let me end with this question: what if you were to wake up tomorrow and all you had was what you were grateful for today?

• Fred La Plante is the pastor of the Juneau Church of the Nazarene. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Saturday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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