One of my most favorite movies ever is “Pretty Woman.” I know…sappy and girly and a total chick flick with the happily-ever-after ending that usually makes me cynical and snarly instead of weepy and soft. But for some reason, I really like this movie. And one of my favorite lines is when Edward (the rich, handsome, but hopelessly wounded guy) surprises Vivian (the wonderful, smart but reduced to prostitution girl) with a trip to the Opera. He buys her a gorgeous dress and ‘borrows’ amazing jewelry and hires a private jet to whisk them off to San Francisco. As they are leaving the hotel, before the date even happens, she turns to him and says “If I forget to tell you, I had a really good time tonight.”
That line always gets me. Before she even knows how it will all turn out, she is grateful. She is enjoying the process and all the effort he took to make the night special for her, and she isn’t waiting until the end to let him know how much she appreciates it. I want that kind of gratitude. I want that kind of love that adores the time and energy without assessing whether the experience was worth it. I want that kind of prayer and that kind of life. Because Jesus went to an awful lot of effort to make sure that I had a good time, that I had something to look forward to, that I would feel special, and that He valued me over anything else. That I was worth the time and energy it took for Him to treat me as His Beloved.
But far too often, I rush through my prayers at the end of the day so I can get some sleep. Far too often, I evaluate my day and determine if enough prayers were answered (the way I wanted them) or if we received enough blessings for me to be grateful. I waited until the end to see if I enjoyed it before saying ‘thank you.’ I rarely even acknowledge the effort He took to create me, sustain me (every breath and every beat of my heart, every second of the day), to give up His Majesty to come to earth, and then sacrifice Himself on the cross to atone for my sins by bleeding and dying…for me. And I have the gall to be stingy with my gratitude if things didn’t turn out exactly as I thought they should? Shame, shame, shame on me!
So here’s my new plan. I am going to be grateful for the day in the morning. Before I even set foot out the door and go about my life, I am going to tell Him “Thank You” for the day to come. Before I even find out if it goes the way I hope and pray it will, I’m going to acknowledge the effort He made to give it to me. I’m going to enjoy the circumstances because they are perfectly within His Plan and His Purpose for my life. For my family’s life. For the world. For that day. He loves with a LOVE so crazy that it defies understanding and He has done more for me than anyone here on earth could ever do…and that is enough for my eternal gratitude and love right back, no matter what. And I never, ever want to forget again to tell Him that.