I wonder often, where the balance lies for folk between entitlement and thankfulness. As I walk along the street, I imagine that most folks' faces are in repose, and if this is so, most faces seem pretty miserable. Few smiles, few signs of joy, of being thankful to be alive. I often wonder what mine looks like to those coming towards me.
A sense of entitlement to 'stuff ', large or small, leads, to my mind at least, to a fine and accurate personal accounting system, to ensure that one has all one is 'entitled' to. As often as not, when I have indulged in this, the account falls short, leading to a grudge mentality, a sense of unfairness, far removed from any joy or thankfulness at what life has offered me.
Of course life is unfair! The grace one needs is to face that fact, be thankful for what one has, seek to be generous with what life offers. I have come back with deep appreciation to the words of the General Thanksgiving, found in the Book of Common Prayer. I learned it as a teenager, and it has never really gone away, but recently has found a regular place in my prayers. 'We...give thee humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and lovingkindness to us and to all..... but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace and for the hope of glory.' It goes on in equally beautiful phrases. Goodness, lovingkindness, inestimable love, means of grace, hope of glory. These are the antidotes to entitlement, and I hope (by that offer of grace the prayer makes extant) to have my life moulded to thankfulness. May it be so. And for us all.