Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Power of Being Grateful

Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent

I will praise the Name of God in song;
I will proclaim God’s greatness with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:32

I count down my list. So far, I have listed nine—which means I need two more. Most days I make a list of thanksgivings. I think over my day and look for the times I was most aware of God’s presence. I revisit these moments and am amazed at what they have to teach me. About how God’s grace is woven into every encounter. About how often I can overlook the powerful love of the Holy One at work. About how God’s mercy carries me through troubled waters.

Because lists of ten seem to be the standard, I try to list eleven thanksgivings. I do this to remind myself of God’s inexhaustible abundance. Some days the list flows off my pen in a rush. Some days I must work at it. Every time the exercise leads me away from stress and towards contentment and peace. Practicing gratitude brings me joy.

I hear so many voices in the world teaching and speaking about power in ways that are far from life-giving. So, in this moment, as I pray the ancient words of the psalms, I ponder the power of being grateful and of proclaiming God’s greatness with thanksgiving.

I cast my mind over my day once again, looking for two more reasons to be thankful. And I smile as I thank God for giving me a heart to practice gratitude, and for the beauty of ancient words of poetry and praise.

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