The favours of God are uncountable. If ever we try to make a comprehensive list of them, we will soon realize that it is a futile task. Unfathomable is God’s mercy and innumerable are His blessings. If a person can eat two meals a day, has a shelter to live in, clothes to wear, a healthy body, the opportunity to get education and friends and family to turn to, then he can count himself to be one of the luckiest persons on the globe. However, we seldom acknowledge the blessings of God; we often take them for granted and only when we are stripped of them do we realize what we always had. Our ungrateful attitude often leads us to depression and frustration; we brood and complain and show pessimism; we condemn others and become jealous of their happiness; we are seldom happy even when some good comes our way because we are always looking towards people who are blessed with more favours than us.
Here are some measures which may help us become more grateful to God.
We should specially plan to take out time every day to reflect on the blessings we have received from God. We should try to imagine our life without some of them. For example, we can reflect what we would have to go through if we did not have eyes or were deaf, lame or mentally retarded.
We should realize that we were never entitled to the favours we have been blessed from God. They are purely a gift of God. We should contemplate that if God has given us such favours, He can also take them away from us whenever He wants to. So, we must not be indifferent to people around us who are inflicted with any calamity. Fortunes can reverse any time and if God wants, He can take away his blessings and reduce us to indigence.
We should always look at people who are less blessed than us. If we look around, we are bound to find so many people who are deprived of what we ourselves have. With this will come the appreciation of the favours we have and which we take for granted.
Finally, we must realize that perhaps the greatest way to express our gratitude to God is to share our favours and blessings with others. If we do so, we will soon come to realize that sharing them will make their treasures grow and make us spiritually satisfied individuals.
(Dr Shehzad Saleem)