Thank you for this day

God got tired of my regular prayer routine this morning. Every day (okay, most days) starts with me on my knees offering a prayer of gratitude and service. The prayer always starts with, “Thank you for this day,” and then I rattle off a list of whatever goodies happen to be on my mind at that moment. Today, God must have been in a feisty mood.

He can be a little frightening when He intervenes in our life unexpectedly. I got as far as, “Good morning, Heavenly Father. Thank you for this day,” when He stopped me in my tracks.

“What does that mean?” God wanted to know. “Is there something about this day that makes it better than yesterday, or are you just rattling off a mechanical thank you without really meaning it?”

Gulp. What do you do when the Almighty calls you out? Where do you hide? “Umm, I stammered, well, I guess…ah….” He sent me to my chair to think about it.
Why AM I grateful for this day?

My morning prayers are said in front of our living room window, and I have a nice view of mature elms and ashes, gently swaying in the morning breeze. I am grateful for that relaxing view and for the life-giving environment that we live in. God’s natural creation sustains us and it provides our minds with a place to rest and be restored.

When the weather is less than peaceful, I am grateful for the builders and plumbers, electricians and heating contractors who built my home and provided me with a place to be warm and comfortable, even in February. I am amazed and grateful for the thousands of people who interact with one another to create communities, plan and maintain the streets, sewers, water systems and everything else that goes into this “place,” where I live.

I am grateful for my economic and social place in this world. For my job, which pays for my food, shelter and far more. For my Church, my civic organizations, my circles of friends. For all of the people who care about me and would probably do more to help me if I were in need than I ever think about.

I am grateful for the little challenges and problems I will face today. “Sufficient for a day is its own evil,” Jesus told his disciples. Translation: stuff is going to happen today. Problems help us grow, nudge us into better directions, and generally make us stronger.

I am grateful and amazed that God has a purpose for me. He put me here, in this chair, in this house, on this street at this time. He gave me my family, my job, my home, and my flaws and talents. He made me to wake up this morning, and now he is allowing me to choose whether I will serve him or myself today.

And all He asks in return is that I love him and the people around me.

Yes, Abba, I am thankful for this day.


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