For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson* [1803-1882]
Holy Creator of Dawn, Noonday, Sunset, and Night,
I often go through each day with a particular agenda of things to do, places to go, and people to see without taking a moment to recognize the blessings of my life. I'm always quick to complain, whine, or moan to You and yet while I might remember an exclamation of "Thank God!" when something dramatic occurs (such as the birth of a child, an improvement in health, or a disaster averted), I'm less likely to remember to breathe a small prayer of thankfulness for waking, for the light of the day, and for the stars of the night.
Whatever the circumstances of my daily life, I always have small moments for which I can be thankful. All I have to do is remember. It's easy enough on Sundays to remember to be thankful for the Resurrection or the Nativity of Your Son, but please help me, Lord, to add thankfulness into my daily life even if only in small ways. While I'm not suggesting that You are the Do-er of everything, I do want to acknowledge the parts of Creation that impact me in positive ways as a thanksgiving for the miracle of life itself. Lord of Heaven, Lord of Life, Lord of All, thank You for this moment, right now. amen.
*Ralph Waldo Emerson was a noted lecturer and leader of the Transcendentalist Movement of the mid-19th century. With a Unitarian background and Harvard Divinity School education, he came to champion the belief in the inherent goodness of people and nature, and, particularly, that only from truly self-reliant and independent people can genuine community be formed. A well-traveled and well-written life, Emerson forms the backdrop of American intellectual pursuits and long collegial relationships with contemporaries such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Henry James and other literary luminaries such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Thomas Carlyle. His work resonates to this day and speaks to much of our current experience and dilemmas.
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