2014-02-28 / Chaplain's News

When we are grateful

By Chaplain (Maj.) Yan Xiong
Resource Manager, RSO

A couple years ago, I read this story in a magazine. A young man was learning to be a paratrooper. Before his first jump, he was given these instructions:

1. Jump when you are told.

2. Count to 10 and pull the ripcord.

3. In the unlikely event that your parachute doesn’t open pull the emergency ripcord.

4. When you get down, a truck will be there to take you back to the airfield.

The young Soldier memorized these instructions and climbed aboard the plane. The plane climbed to ten thousand feet and the paratroopers began to jump. When the young Soldier was told to jump, he jumped. He then counted to 10 and pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened. His parachute failed to open. So he pulled the emergency ripcord. Still nothing happened. No parachute. “Oh great,” he thought, “And I suppose the truck won’t be there when I get down either!”

Have you ever felt like that? Have you experienced failures and disappointments to the point that you just don’t expect anything to go right for you? Sometimes the whole world seems to be against us. But then there are some people who seem to just breeze through life. They always land on their feet. And success always seems to come their way - almost to the point of being unfair. What does it take to be a person who always lands on their feet? Well, unlike the situation of the young Soldier in our story there is hope.

All experience is reactive to our thoughts. If we think miserable things, we shall experience miserable life and if we think beautiful things we shall experience beautiful life. This is the mental law that governs all our experiences and all human activities. We have the mental law here, but what is the truth which is greater than this law?

The truth is that our thought has power over us and God is in our thought of good.

Actually, if we have a grateful heart, we can see a very different world around us. Let us just think about our daily life now.

Every day, people go to work at sunrise and go home at sunset. The lives of people in the military are busy. Gradually, they adapt to routine life and they forget the blessings that they have. From evening to morning, after a long and busy day working, they sleep in their own bed until the next day, this seems normal. However, if we see what happens in other places less fortunate, such as hunger, war, sickness, etc., we will know how sweet this normal life is. We can’t take life for granted. We should be grateful for our blessings.

Every day, we wake up and should be grateful and thank God that we are alive and full of energy to embrace the day. We can also thank God that we have our senses so that we can smell the crisp air, taste our food, hear the birds chirping, see the beautiful sunrise, and to be able to touch things. We should also thank God for letting us walk, jog, hunt, and go to places. We should be grateful for all of these blessings.

We should use our hearts to find grace. We also have the ability to choose. For example we can choose how much time we can spend on our meals. We can choose to travel anywhere. What type of transportation to take, and much more. We also have many blessings in our jobs like money, vacations, colleagues, and the experience of cooperation. When working in our jobs, we have friends; we can have fun, and also have our friends share the burden. God also gives us the opportunity to gain knowledge, travel, see the world, and if we examine our lives, our hearts should be grateful.

When we are sick or when we feel weak, we should feel grateful about our bodies when they are healthy. We also understand that healthiness is a blessing. In life, many miracles occur. Sometimes there are frustrations and sometimes bitterness, but we can always taste the sweetness of life. In the Bible, we can find this profound life truth: “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b).

That is our real life! It is so beautiful. We are all familiar with that sentence in the Old Testament, Genesis Chapter one: “And God saw that it was good.”

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