CONFESSION: I chased the next big event (set in the future) for much of my life. The chase caused me to miss many of the blessings granted each day. After many years of this chase and many birthdays and moving into retirement, my life has slowed, and I have become more reflective.

Five and a half years of a slower pace of life brought the realization that I have taken for granted so many blessings that undergird daily life. Sleep suddenly stole away from me this morning at 4:30. The alarm had been set to 5:15, so I tried to sleep to no avail.

In the 20 minutes before 4:50, I started praying. First, I thanked our Father for a restful night’s sleep. Then, my grateful attention fell on the comfortable bed. Next, I realized my rotator cuff pain was absent—what a blessing! Which led me to acknowledge, thankfully, my pain-free state of health. I drew a full breath, grateful for healthy lungs, speaking of gifts. I noticed my heart beat slowly and regularly and added this to my growing list of gratitude. And how could I build this mental list if my mind weren’t functioning well—another item to include on the list.

This process carried me to 4:45, when I stopped to realize that I was thanking God for the tiny but essential aspects of everyday life. A decade ago, when my eyelid rolled up, my mind focused on the calendar for today. A day’s activities often included sermon planning for the next quarter of six months. Usually, several meetings punctuated the day’s timeline, each dealing with some future event. Perhaps, a member would have surgery, necessitating a drive—how would I fit it in with the meetings and sermon preparation.

All these things deserved attention. Yet, giving them attention robbed awareness of the so-called “little blessings” I lay in bed this morning counting. Now, I regret missing so much of God’s daily provision.

TAKE-AWAY: Expressing gratitude to God at life’s cellular level generally brightens one’s life. Being thankful early for the small blessings enriches one’s relationship with the Father. It puts one in a positive frame of mind for the day—no matter its circumstances. Further, it makes one much more likely to thankfully acknowledge others’ kindness throughout the day.

Now is never too late to count blessings at life’s cellular level and acknowledge them with gratitude.

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