The Gratitude Attitude


RoseRev. John R. Ramsey tells how in one church
a certain person provided him with a rose boutonniere for the lapel of his suit
every Sunday. At first he really appreciated it but then it sort of became

Then one Sunday it became very special.

As he was leaving the Sunday Service a
young boy walked up to him and said, “Sir, what are you going to do with
your flower?” At first the preacher didn’t know what the boy was talking
about. When it sank in, he pointed to the rose on his lapel and asked the boy,
“Do you mean this?”

The boy said, “Yes, sir. If you’re
just going to throw it away, I would like it.”

The preacher smiled and told him he could
have the flower and then casually asked what he was going to do with it. The
boy, who was probably no more than 10 years old, looked up at the preacher and
said, “Sir, I’m going to give it to my granny. My mother and  father divorced last year. I was living with
my mother, but she married again, and wanted me to live with my father. I lived
with him for a while, but he said I couldn’t stay, so he sent me to live with
my grandmother. She is so good to me. 
She cooks for me and takes care of me. She has been so good to me that I
wanted to give her that pretty flower for loving me.”

When the little boy finished, the preacher
could hardly speak. His eyes filled with tears and he knew he had been touched
by God. He reached up and unpinned the rose. With the flower in his hand, he
looked at the boy and said, “Son, that is the nicest thing that I’ve ever
heard but you can’t have this flower because it’s not enough. If you’ll look in
front of the pulpit, you’ll see a big bouquet of flowers. Different families buy
them for the Church each week. Please take those flowers to your granny because
she deserves the very best.”

Then the boy made one last statement which
Rev. Ramsey said he will always treasure. The boy said, “What a wonderful
day! I asked for one flower but got a beautiful bouquet.”

That’s the thankful spirit. That’s the
gratitude attitude. And it’s that attitude that should guide our giving and our
lives. Like that boy’s granny, God has blessed us so much. God has been so good
to us that giving shouldn’t even be a question. It should just flow from us

Rev. John R. Ramsey, Second Helping of Chicken
Soup for the Soul. Adapted by Billy D. Strayhorn, “The Gratitude

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