Some meditate, some people use a diary, some people use mindfulness exercises; I pray. I think praying gets a bad rap, because it’s viewed as a quasi-superstitious form of wish-making. But, for me, prayer is just another way of remembering to be grateful.
Most of life is, inherently, mundane; but being witness to real love or faith or progress or beauty is like briefly being witness to the incredible power that created and sustains us. And so, for example, when I see or hear about someone doing something kind or brave, I take a minute to give thanks – if only to capture in my own mind that spark of the divine.
And though the visual that likely comes to mind when we think of praying is children kneeling at their beds or a congregation kneeling in Church, I usually just close my eyes and let the moment have its impact. Sometimes, I’ll even indulge in a small happy tear. And in a world that can so often be so discouraging, it refreshes the spirit to truly let ourselves feel the powerful goodness that still exists in the world.
In those moments of silence, I am grateful for the person who did the good or brave act; I am grateful for the people who raised that brave / good person or who maintain the beautiful places in the world; and I am grateful that I was privy to that person or that act or that place. I permit myself to feel the shame or guilt of failing to meet the standard, and I make a renewed commitment to do better – not because the things I’ve done or the person I am is bad, but because sometimes I neglect to do the small good but difficult things that make life truly wonderful.
Posted in: Faith