Next week, Americans will gather around dinner tables with loved ones and guests to pause and offer thanks for the blessings of another year. This season, I am reflecting and giving thanks for the ordinary things of life that I often take for granted. Let me explain.
A few years back I lost my job which had been a source of blessings for two decades. I lived a fairly comfortable life and took a lot of my blessings for granted.
Now, I work for a Hospice company and pastor to folks who I would not necessarily have come into contact with in my previous vocation - the inner city poor of Canton, Ohio and the good farm people and blue collar folks of central Ohio. Working and conversing with these amazing individuals remind me daily of never taking the ordinary blessings of life for granted. Blessings such as running water, the sunrise, a refrigerator filled with good food, the laughter of a neighbor, a moment with a dog and a cat who welcome without reservation, the beauty of the seasons, friends who love and support you in the good times and in the struggles of life, a ripe piece of fruit, health care, a blossoming relationship, the warmth of home.
Saint Ignatius wrote about seeing God in all things. In other words, seeing with the eyes of the heart. Perhaps this is what Therese of Lisieux meant when she recognized that everything is grace. "These saints - and many others - knew what it was to see behind and beyond the commonplace, and to recognize that the commonplace is no less than the extraordinary and dazzling presence of God. It's really all we need." (Rosalie P. Krajci, Benedictine Oblate)
I encourage you this week to pause from the daily grind of your life and give thanks for the ordinary things which bless you each and every day. It is in these daily ordinary blessings where you will find the Holy One.