Sunday, July 1, 2012
I have now conducted this experiment for a full month, and am concluding it with this post. It's been an educational month. I'm a very ungrateful person. I wake up with a start in the middle of the night realizing, "I didn't write my prayer of gratitude today..." because I didn't take the time to notice things. And so I will sit in bed and replay the day in my mind until I come across something special that happened that I ought to have taken the time to thank God for earlier, but didn't. I constantly chide myself for not noticing the countless blessings God sends my way. But the good news is that I notice them more than I did a month ago.
This outward, public experiment in gratitude is drawing to a close. At least, I no longer intend to post on a daily basis. But the work wrought in me through having an attitude of gratitude to my Father is, I pray, lasting. I intend to continue noticing things, and thanking God for them, and drawing closer to Him through deepest thanksgiving.
Thank you to those who read along with me, noticed things with me, or prayed for me as I asked at the beginning of the experiment. I hope that I was able to encourage some of you to also live more grateful lives.
I thank you, Father, for the innumerable blessings for which I will never be able to thank you enough.
Posted by Stephen at 3:31 PM
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The reason for my absence of posts the last couple of days is currently the very thing for which I am most grateful.
I thank you, Father, for Camp Zion. Thank you for the campfires and sunsets, the laughs, the rowdy singing, the pensive, shining eyes that stare into the flames during devotions.
Thank you for the waves, sometimes lapping, sometimes crashing, sometimes barely perceptible as the lake spreads out from the shores like a vast mirror, almost motionless. Thank you for the kersplunking of happy campers throwing themselves from the edge of the dock.
Thank you for the stars, uncounted and glorious in their silvery spread.
Thank you the field, worn and beaten down by thousands of feet over decades of use.
Thank you for the Throne Room, smelly and spidery as ever.
And thank you, by the way, for the innumerable spiders--detestable yet remarkable in every way.
Thank you for the crunching gravel, the sawdust paths, the smell of pine.
Thank you for the Stewarts and their years of tireless, faithful, and thoroughly effectual ministry, and for the hundreds of volunteers who over the years have made Camp Zion what it is today: a place to meet You in new and exciting ways, a place to live with and love people from every background, a place to bask, body and soul, in the warmth of your Son.
I could hardly bring myself to leave.
Posted by Stephen at 8:08 PM
Monday, June 25, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
I thank you Father, for voices lifted in united acclamation and exultation of you, the Creator God. I thank you for hearts outpoured of love, adoration, and astonishment at your mercy, of incredulity at your grace. Few things are as special to me as singing my heart out with my brothers and sisters to my, their, our Father.
Posted by Stephen at 1:29 PM
Saturday, June 23, 2012
I just watched "127 Hours." I thank you, Father, for bravery. For courage. For the burning desire to not only survive but to live that is within us, for stubborn refusal to give up even when all seems hopeless.
Thank you, Lord, that I have both my arms.
Posted by Stephen at 6:29 PM
Friday, June 22, 2012
I thank you, Father, for bike rides. Thank you for wind that rushes past the ears and waters the eyes, for whirring wheels and the crunch of gravel, the hiss of dirt, or the steady hum of paved road. Thank you for clicking chains and the clack of shifting gears, for squealing brakes, for the thrill of speed, and thank you for sweaty rubber grips.
Posted by Stephen at 7:37 PM
Thursday, June 21, 2012
I thank you, Father, for forest trails: for crunchy leaves and snapping twigs beneath my feet, for dappled sunlight, pale gold and green through the thick foliage, for bird calls and scolding squirrels, for the sound of water on stones, for the smell of growing things. I thank you for rough tree bark, bright green dragon-flies, and tattered mist strung across mossy glens.
Posted by Stephen at 7:44 PM