Tuesday April 4 (4:4)
Have you ever noticed that when we change our lens to one of gratitude, everything is enhanced? I can't help but think of Bing Crosby singing Counting Your Blessings in White Christmas. Counting your blessings heals the soul.
Gratitude moves the ego out of the way and fills that space with blessings. I may have told you about the silent retreat I once experienced. It was so profound that it bears repeating.
We were a group of around thirty people in a large meeting room at Old St. Pat's in Chicago. It was an all day retreat, so we were asked to bring our own lunch. I scrounged around my kitchen and threw together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and brought it with me to the retreat.
We did some silent seated meditations, some walking meditations, and then it was time for lunch. Our facilitator suggested it would be best to eat in the room, in silence.
In silence, one tends to notice more, senses are heightened, sounds, tastes, smells. My first bite of my peanut butter and jelly was delicious. It was both smooth and crunchy, because of the crunchy peanut butter, and bread with seeds and grains. My chewing was deafening in my ears so I chewed slower so it wasn't as loud.
Tears warmed my cheeks as I began to silently thank God for my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and thank those who planted, harvested, and packaged the ingredients of my sandwich; those who baked the bread and grew the grains and wheat and peanuts and raspberries. I was grateful for the rain and the sun.
That was some ten odd years ago, and it still brings tears to my eyes when I think of all the people who gave of themselves so that I could enjoy that sandwich to the fullest. That day I was filled with overflowing gratitude and the impression it left was indelible.
This day, may we filled with overflowing gratitude for everything that God has made.