A few years ago a writer named A.J. Jacobs embarked on an adventure that would later become a best-selling book. He resolved to live for one year according to all the laws and commandments of the Bible. The book became The Year of Living Biblically.
At the beginning of the project, he defined himself as an agnostic Jew — Jewish in name and heritage, but not in heritage. He said that he was truly Jewish like Olive Garden is truly Italian restaurant, which is to say: not very, except in name.
His objective was to follow all of the Old Testament laws to the letter — observing the Sabbath, cleansing rituals, the dietary restrictions, even to the extent that he didn’t shave or wear blended fabrics. He also began to tithe, which he was surprised to discover felt really good. It feels good to be generous. It feels good to help people.
Jacobs also said, in his quest to obey all the Old Testament commandments, that he became overwhelmingly aware of a new sensation, one that he had hardly noticed before: gratitude.
He began to feel thankful for every little detail of his life. He talked about getting on the elevator in his apartment building, and being with overcome with gratitude for the elevator. And he talked about being thankful to arrive home, thankful for his wife, thankful at the sight of his son.
He said that gratitude became something like an obsession with him, that throughout the day he kept saying to himself again and again, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“It’s an odd way to live. But also kind of great and powerful. I’ve never before been so aware of the thousands of little good things, the thousands of things that go right every day.”
I don’t know what has happened in Mr. Jacobs’ life since he wrote this book, I don’t know where he is spiritually, but I do know that while he was on this journey, he discovered a principle of living that, if used everyday, can revolutionize your life. It’s a principle that we would all do well to discover. It’s the principle of thankfulness. When you become thankful you see more and more how God is at work in your life.
This reminds me of Milton’s quote …
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies,
those transcendent moments of awe that change forever
how we experience life and the world.”
Also the Apostle Paul…
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18