“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Daily Spiritual Practice: Gratitude

A few posts ago, I blogged about the spiritual practice of keeping a "daily gratitude journal." I have a regular spiritual practice of writing, praying, and reflecting on gratitude - and I thought I'd share what that looks like for me:

 Dec 5, 2011
"I thank You God for most this amazing day..." Thank You for the walk to church yesterday, in the fresh fallen snow. It was still dark out when I began my walk, but I was warmed by thoughts of who I'd encounter at church, and by the hot cup of coffee I carried in my mug. The streets were empty. The sky held the faintest hints of the morning sun, but it was still mostly dark. As I walked down the silent, beautiful streets and sidewalks, I reminded myself that the world doesn't owe me anything: not my health, or the hot coffee (which I did not grow, harvest, roast, or pack), or anything else, for that matter. I reminded myself that I am utterly dependent on those around me, and so many that I do not know. As I walked, I gave thanks for a body that mostly works; for family and friends that hold and support me; for the faith community I am blessed to serve. I try to take none of this for granted, because things won't always be this way.
"I thank You God for most this amazing day..." Thank You for the powerful, healing conversations that took place at church yesterday. I was surprised and delighted by the interactions I had with long time members and guests. I was deeply touched and reminded of how important a faith community is and can be. (And thanks, also, for a worship hour filled with moving and soul stirring music.)
"I thank You God for most this amazing day..." Thank you for the walk home from church...and the chance to unwind...and  for the call from my Amicus friend, and for the chance to put my son to bed, to rock him and sing him "silly songs" before he fell asleep...
And thank You for the ongoing, creative, spirit filled work of the Occupy Movement, here in the Twin Cities and around the country, who continue to highlight the troubling economic disparities in this country, and call out the ways that money corrupts our democracy...I am with them in spirit.     
There's more, of course, but it's of a more personal nature, and not something I feel comfortable putting on a blog...but you get the basic gist of one of my core practices and what it looks like.

What daily spiritual practices help ground and orient your life?


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