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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: Groove’ as in… the discipline, constant practice, and ongoing hard work creates the groove of gratitude.

Gratitude isn’t a feeling. Gratitude is a choice that we can make every day. But choosing to be grateful each day doesn’t just happen; it takes discipline. The more we make gratitude a part of our daily rhythms, the more gratefulness will wind its way into our lives.

In an ancient story in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus heals ten men with leprosy. In this story of death and resurrection, it’s difficult to overstate how radically altered their lives had become. But in a moment of clarity, one of the nine men stops, turns around, and heads back to say thank you. Why did he return? What made him come back? Discipline was probably the most significant of all the things that could have driven him back to Jesus. Somewhere in that guy’s wiring, there was the discipline, the constant practice, the ongoing hard work, the groove of gratitude. The practice of stopping, turning, and returning to express gratitude was part of his life. He’d done it before. The groove of practicing gratitude had been set in his life.

But what about the other nine? Why didn’t they come back? It would be easy to judge them for being ungrateful. But let’s turn that narrative around. Maybe, in some other version of the story,  they did return. We don’t know. Maybe after being separated from their loved ones for God knows how long, they all ran home to their families and friends to tell them about the rabbi who healed them, but then came back and found Jesus the following afternoon. I’m not ready to throw the lepers out with that grungy bathwater. But this one thing is sure: one guy returned to express his gratitude for his life-after-death experience. And here we are thousands of years later, still talking about that one thing that one guy did on that one afternoon. That takes some discipline. Gratitude isn’t a feeling.

Gratitude is a choice that we make every day. So let’s groove on that!


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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