Things that have Always Been (November 20, 2012)

…Opening To…

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. (Meister Eckhart)

…Listening In…

First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because the news about your faithfulness is being spread throughout the whole world. I serve God in my spirit by preaching the good news about God’s Son, and God is my witness that I continually mention you in all my prayers. (Romans 1:8-10; context)

…Filling Up…

There are so many things for which to give thanks: my discovery that I do, in fact, like sweet potatoes; the new album from a favorite band; the first ice on the edges of the pond. I have given thanks for each of these things over the last couple of days, and each has been something new – a change from an earlier condition or a recent addition to the world at large.

Now, I don’t know about you, but for me giving thanks for new things or for things that have recently changed takes up most of my gratitude time. The new things jump out at us. They vie for our attention. The things that have always been there, however, remain in the background, quietly making our lives comfortable or joyful or meaningful. Because the things that have always been don’t call attention to themselves, we fail to give thanks to God for them as often as we should.

Today, think of something that you can’t remember doing without: it can be as basic as breath or your dog’s earnest affection. It can be the simple fact that you’ve always had clean clothes in your drawers or a hot meal on the table. Think of something you’ve never given thanks for because it has silently endured throughout your life, never calling attention to itself and never failing to make your life better. Until today, you’ve never realized it was an eligible candidate for thanksgiving, so today give thanks to God for it.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of things that endure, the creator of old things and new things; help me to notice the things in my life that have always been there making my life better and to give thanks for them. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, eager to look for your blessing in my life and eager to be a reason that others give thanks to you.

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