I heard it twice in 2 days from 2 different people.
In a men’s group, we were checking in. How are you feeling as you sit down and come apart? One friend said, “I don’t want to be here tonight, but I know that I will feel differently when it is over. This is the one place where I come that I think about what I am grateful for.”
Another friend who was a pastor for his whole life wrote a response to a question from the newspaper: “What are the Best Parts about Going to Church.” He said, among other things, “Church experiences affords participants the regular discipline of reverence as well as opportunities for usefulness through hands-on service.”
Where do you go to think about what you are grateful for—to reflect on what you reverence?
When I was a child we prayed at the table before each meal, acknowledging gratitude for the gift of food and those who had made it possible. I was taught the practice of kneeling beside my bed at night and saying a prayer. I would list the things that I liked about the day. I listed the people who had been part of my day. I named the things that I thought were good. When I was older I gave up the kneeling, but not the practice of nightly thanking the source of life for the gift of life.
It sometimes seems that there is much to stress us in our world today. Even if we are not addicted to the news feeds on TV, Computer, Tablet, Phone, Facebook, we can’t help but catch headlines that keep us exposed to difficult and painful events in the lives of individuals and the world. That can have a way of absorbing us and creating deep anxiety and stress.
That’s why I think we all need some regular place to go and think about what we are grateful for. Where do you go to be mindful of all the incredible gifts of your life?