How can we show our gratitude for the miracle of God’s love? There are three ways by which we can show gratitude.
1. Open the gift God has given us
One way is to make use of the wonderful gift God has given us. The gift can be of benefit only if put to use. What is the point of receiving a gift and not opening it? Initiation is a gift we do not want to leave on the shelf unopened. By daily meditation, our soul can achieve reunion with God.
We are the only species who can know itself as soul and realize it is a part of God. Once initiated, let us make use of that gift by meditating for at least two and a half hours daily. In this way, we can avail of the precious gift given by the Master and steadily travel to our true Home.
The deed most appreciated by God is when we put spirituality into practice. We do so by meditating daily. We do so by leading ethical lives of nonviolence, truthfulness, purity, humility, selfless service, and living on a vegetarian diet. We further help ourselves by attending satsang. This way, we differentiate our lives from those of the lesser creatures.
We have in our souls the treasures of all creation. We need to turn within to experience God. We have within us lights more brilliant and wondrous than anything in this physical world. We have uplifting, intoxicating celestial music within more beautiful than the greatest musical performances of this world. The music and harmony of all harmonies within are more enjoyable than listening to any favorite music in the physical world. The inner light and sound radiate rays of love that fill us with more happiness than we could ever dream of. We can enjoy it all year long. The gift of the light and sound is evergreen and ever fresh and keeps us fulfilled forever. The first way to show gratitude to God is to open that gift of light and sound through meditation.
2. By serving God’s creation
The second way we show gratitude for God’s gifts is to share the spirit of divine love with others. We can share our love and light with God’s children. We can remove hatred, prejudice, and bigotry from our hearts. We can allow God’s creation into our hearts. When we love, we give and share. Let us not turn away from our door anyone in need. Let us consider all as our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. In God’s eyes, we serve God best when we serve others.
When we develop our spiritual vision, we see the light of God in all. We love all. We see no high and low between people of different religions, faiths, countries, or cultures. We see no high and low between the educated and uneducated. We see no high and low between the rich and the poor. Why? Because when we see God’s light in all, we see all as part of one large family of God. Thus, when someone asks us for help, we feel that the God within that person is asking us for help. We, out of love, want to give help to that person.
Think of how many times someone needs our help. Someone may be hungry, thirsty, poor, or ill, and we may say we are too busy to help. Opportunities to help are many. Let us make use of those opportunities.
When we do seva, we need to make sure it is done selflessly. Selfless service is saying, “Oh, Lord, whatever you want, I am Your servant. You can use my hands to do work for You.” Then, we allow ourselves to work without any personal gain for us. If we do so, we will live the real meaning of selfless service.
Gratitude to God translates into acknowledging with humility that our goodness is due to God who created us. Without the Creator, we would not exist.
3. Gratitude through acknowledging the Divine
The third way we can show gratitude is to acknowledge the existence of the Divine. We may think that there is a separation between science and spirituality, yet even great scientists have acknowledged a divine Creator.
It makes sense to us now that when Dr. Samuel Morse sent his first message on the telegraph, it was the following words, “What hath God wrought!” meaning, “What has God brought forth!”
Look at the humility of one who produced one of the great inventions in history. With all the name and fame gained for inventing the telegraph, he knew that this accomplishment was due to the grace of God.
If we measure ourselves against the standards of humility found in many great scientists, how do we fare? We paint a picture, write a song, create a new recipe, build a cabinet, or write a poem, and we think we are great.
If we practiced humility and gratitude, we would give thanks to God for letting us be the instrument of God’s accomplishments.
If we are proud of our physical body — our looks, our strength, our stamina, our athletic prowess, our agility, and our good health — let us give thanks to the Lord. Our physical body would not exist if God had not created us.
If we are proud of our mental capabilities and our intellect, our school honors and certificates, our high grades, our education, whether we have been promoted from elementary school or middle school, or have graduated from high school, college, or graduate school, then let us thank the Lord for giving us the gift of intelligence.
If we are proud of our creativity, whether we have created a painting or sculpture, written a song or play, written poetry or books, decorated our home, designed an outfit, or built an architectural wonder, then let us thank God for the gift of creativity. Without God, we would not have the creative mind.
If we have a solvent financial base, with a job or career, strong assets, good home, and luxuries, let us thank God. We should also thank God for our family and friends.
We should thank God for creating our soul, for without that we would not exist. God has set us into motion by creating parts of God’s own self as souls. That is the cause of our whole existence. We may think our existence is our body and mind, but what enlivens those is the soul. If God had not created souls, there would be no life-giving power to enliven the matter that comprises our body and mind.
Dissect the body to its smallest components, and we are nothing but a conglomerate of atoms bound together into a human being. Dissect the brain, and it is a mass of atoms that form into brain cells. It is all matter. Scientists have now discovered that matter contains within it energy. If atoms are broken down further, they are dancing packets of energy, including waves of light and sound. Scientists have heard the sound coming from atoms. Ultimately, what enlivens matter is spirit. For that, we need to thank God.
Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj put it clearly in this verse:
With every breath I must bow to my Friend,
For I owe my life to his grace.
Every second of our lives is due to the grace of God. Humility means that we recognize that God has created us.
We can show our gratitude by making use of God’s gifts by meditating on the inner light and sound, by serving God’s creation, and by acknowledging with humility the existence of the Divine, the source of all gifts that enrich our lives.