Can I make gratitude into a sacrifice? Can I offer up thanks even in the face of frustration and lack?
Let it be so. Let me dig for gratitude, even as I am assailed, even as my rivals best me, even as I am pushed to the sides and forgotten.
To give thanks under all conditions, this is to be my devotion, Lord.
Let gratitude blossom from me like a lotus from mud.
You set the earth and events in motion around me, all fixed and beyond my control. Within this vast container, Lord, I hold infinite choice.
You smile upon me as I make my small decisions which loom so large in my view. What matter if my feet turn left or right? The paths were laid out by you.
Grant me sight, Lord. Let me have the proper view of my own doings. My actions are like the chaff which will burn away. Let me recognize what is of value.
Let me feel your nearness today.
You are never far, yet in my trance I believe myself alone.
Let me awaken, Lord.
I pull the shades against the sunlight, that I may remain blind to the disorder growing in the corners of my rooms. For gotten debris sits in small piles. The air is unmoving.
Walking under your bright skies, I present a healthy face to the world. Back home, I allow rot to grow.
Lord! This morning I will throw open the shutters, that your sunshine may pour in. Fresh air will circulate and inside will match outside.
Fresh air, Lord, that is today’s gift. Blow through my rooms.
This is already my destiny: to sit here, alone in this room, awaiting the day you bring. To greet the ones and twos who arrive. To tidy the corners and wipe down the surfaces of this place.
Yet I pine, O Lord, for tomorrow’s riches and accolades. I hope for treasure to appear around the next corner. Yet indeed, if I have a destiny, then it already must be here — for I now inhabit yesterday’s tomorrow.
Could I have hoped for this day, dear Lord? Let me live in it as if I had.
What a fantasy world I inhabit. I equally imagine great deeds and treasure just around the corner, and enemies arrayed against me today.
All false. I have no enemy. Tomorrow holds no pot of gold. Today is as yesterday – I am daily a child receiving your messages.
Does the mother cruelly set challenges for their child? Does the father forever withhold reward? This is not the true nature of my days.
I have imagined my difficulties and triumphs. All along, as my loving parent, you protect and nurture me. Lord, let me see around me without illusion.
Unsure of what next to do, I cower. If I do nothing, perhaps these threats I perceive will move on. I approach this day like a small creature, wondering how I might escape notice and stay at the margins.
Where, Lord, has this fear come from? I am your child, among your children. Yet I slink.
Place in my heart the message you would have me delivere today. Let your message be my courage.
Let me thank you in all circumstances. Grant me grace to do this.
Winds buffet me; let me be grateful for the sensation. I labor; let me have gratitude for my strength. Hunger arises; let me give thanks for the meal that is to come.
Let gratitude draw me near to you, Lord.
This very seeking of you, Lord, easily becomes a chore. Day in, day out, searching. This path is ever familiar and I weary.
Quicken my heart and lighten my spirit. I see your light shining upon me and my step quickens. Why must I always, though, seek this goal? Why cannot the path itself bring me such joy?
Hold my hand, walk with me. Sing to me and tell me traveling jokes, dear Lord, brightening my outlook as one does a child.
Let me be a child on the way, no dull laborer.
You have set the path of this day; I walk it as if I direct my own route. Such energy it takes, to see myself blazing each trail, decision heaped upon decision.
Where will I go? Which way to turn? Where will I end up?
Lord, grant me the grace to set aside this planning and worry. If the path is set, let me then begin walking, curious and expectant.
You protect me, Lord, even as I feel exposed. This pathway runs through safe lands only. Therefore let me stride on.