Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Gift of Gratitude

Today is my son's 10th birthday. A decade, he says. Two digits. I'll confess to feeling a little bit stunned.

This morning my husband and I got up just a few minutes before Elijah's alarm was scheduled to go off. We woke him by singing Happy Birthday. "Thank you," he said, as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

Later it occurred to me: the first words of Elijah's second decade were "Thank you." What a wonderful beginning.

Gratitude is the "Epiphany Star" I got in worship a few Sundays ago. Epiphany stars are construction paper stars with gifts of the Holy Spirit written on them. At GPPC we receive Epiphany stars on the Sunday closest to Epiphany - usually the same Sunday we reaffirm our baptismal vows. The gifts are varied and randomly distributed: love, joy, humor, wisdom, creativity, integrity, etc. It's lovely to see the variety of gifts pinned to people's lapels, sweaters, and t-shirts during worship. We invite folks to think about the gift on their star as God's gift to them in the coming year and as their gift to others and to God. It's a gift to "grow into." A one-word New Year's resolution. One more gift for the Christmas season. (A Christian fortune cookie - OK, it's like that, too.) When I received "Gratitude," I thought of Meister Eckhart's old line: If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice. I resolved to notice the good stuff and say thanks as often as possible.

But today I realized that this resolution may be more satisfying: to do things that will lead other people to feel thanks, and even to say it. It certainly was a nice way to start this day.

1 comment:

  1. Happy belated birthday, Elijah!

    Carla, I love that you are doing this. It inspires me to write more, about God and life.

    Love, Claire