You are no stranger to disappointment. It follows you around sometimes for days, calling you by your first name. It knows every injury you’ve ever gotten, every job you didn’t keep, every friend you lost, every hope dashed. Still, you are willing to take it into your house when it comes around, let it tell the stories of the hardships of the world and feed it all of the food from your table. Some nights if you are not careful you find you are only left with the remains of what was meant to be a feast of joy.
Disappointment cannot be avoided as long as air is breathed and blood is pumped. Disappointment is simply a part of what it means to be alive.
But we cannot live on the left over bread crumbs and bitter wine with disappointment as our only companion. Disappointment has its place, certainly. Unfortunately it cannot fuel us for the path ahead- but gratitude can.
Though it may be hard to muster in desperate times, gratitude can find us when we’re lost. Gratitude can fill us when we’re empty. Gratitude can rouse us for that next hard patch of road ahead. You may be tempted to toss gratitude off the first chance you get because you think it is temporary, because you are afraid to hope, because you cannot trust that you will be alright in the end.
Please, hold on to gratitude.
Call it up when things are desperate, when you are so tired you can’t speak, when you are sure that disappointment is knocking at the front door. Call up gratitude and let it reach deep into your bones and remind you of where your flesh is anchored, where your soul is seated, where your love is located.
You don’t have to turn disappointment away from the table when it shows up uninvited but at least let gratitude sit next to you so that it can refill your plate. Gratitude will not let you go hungry.