shocked into gratitude

I believe I am a fairly grateful man. I am grateful for my life; I am grateful for my wife; I am grateful for my kids; I am grateful for Trinity Church; I am grateful for the privilege of preaching. I woke up today grateful for all those things. I wake up every day grateful for those things, but I have to admit that most of the time it is a gratitude in the back of my mind, a reality that I don't openly acknowledge enough or feel passionately.
 
Well today I got shocked, slapped, and shoved into a real and present attitude of gratitude for those things, so much so that it was accompanied by a deep well of emotion to the point of tears. As I was sitting in a Starbucks preparing for a message on gratitude, in walked a man I knew in Bible College and a fellow pastor friend who I haven't seen in over nine years. We locked eyes and he walked straight over and called me by name and sat down. He asked what I had been up to all these years, where I was pastoring, etc.
 
When I asked him the same question he proceeded to tell me about a marriage that had dissolved, about the pain of that loss, and the many consequences visited upon his life by the choices made by another person that he could do nothing about. As he shared the reality of that pain, he still spoke of faith, purpose and hope. I couldn't imagine what he has been through as he has lost so much in such a short amount of time, and he didn't really even see it coming. The life he knew and enjoyed had been turned upside down and was gone.
 
My heart went out to him and grieved for him. As he left the store I was shocked into a renewed gratitude for my life, wife, kids, and the opportunity to be sitting here writing this blog.
 
Dear Jesus I want to say, “THANK YOU for all that you have blessed me with. May you cause me never to take these things for granted. In your name, Amen.”
 
May the Lord allow you a moment this week to be shocked into gratitude.