As we move into Thanksgiving season, I invite us all to live with this truth:
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
What’s to stop us from praying all the time. Why not say “thank you” throughout the day?
This prayer of saying “thank you” does not mean we ignore the needs, the pain, the suffering in our world. It does mean that we increase our awareness that God is at work, in the midst of all we encounter.
I remember clearly when I was in graduate school in St. Louis. My days were busy, balancing classes, homework, and work. One day, I felt overwhelmed by all that was supposed to fit into that day. It didn’t seem possible to get everything done. By the grace of God, in the midst of my panic, I realized I had much to be grateful for. I had a car that was running well, and I had reliable transportation between school, work, and home. I was grateful that I had work. I was thankful for the chance to go to graduate school. I was grateful for my landlady, Rosemary Schwarz, who gave me a great deal on renting a room. I was grateful for….well, the more I thought about it, the more I found to be thankful for. This approach transformed me, and my approach to the day.
Thirty years later, that day in St. Louis continues to guide me. When I face illness or challenges, when I hear of suffering or lack or pain in the community or in our world, I know that those needs are to be addressed, not ignored. And one way to go forward in addressing the needs around us, is to be on the look-out for God-sitings. For when we become aware of God-here-with-us, we can then discern the next right thing to do. One way to become aware of God, the Divine Power present in our world, is to pray. And, “if the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
I am thankful for you!