I woke up early this morning, in my own room, in my own bed, snuggling in the warmth of the woman who has loved me unconditionally for more than half a century now. Between coming into full wakefulness and getting up from bed, I relished the moment and whispered “Thank you, Lord.” over and over.
We need such pauses and gaps to make room for gratitude in our lives. Gaps and pauses that allow us to see the beauty of the flower or the sunset, to appreciate the goodness in people, to absorb the truth there is in the world.
Some pauses come naturally, like at night in that state of wakefulness between lying down in bed and finally falling asleep, or in the mornings between the first stirrings and rising from sleep, or in traffic while waiting for the car in front to move on. Others have to be planned for, like that invigorating walk in nature, or the refreshing stroll along the beach, or that moment of daily prayer. Still others come serendipitously, like Aha insight moments, like the thought that being grateful is to recognize the love of God and of other people.
When we are grateful, we affirm the goodness there is in people. We help make goodness a stronger force than evil. We fructify people so that they can be even more generous and giving. And in turn, we learn to be giving and generous persons ourselves.
When we are grateful, we celebrate the beauty there is nature and creation. And in celebrating that beauty, we actually make our world a more beautiful place. What we see in nature blossoms in our minds and what is often in our minds eventually turn into reality, usually even unconsciously.
When we are grateful, we absorb and respect the truth there is in the world. And in respecting the truth, we contribute to that universal consciousness that make us human and that we are indeed born and bound for greater things ahead.