A few years ago, I made “gratitude prayers” a regular part of my routine. Â Every morning, I’d take a moment Â to reflect on five different things I was thankful for. Â It’s a habit I’ve gotten out of, for some reason and it’s one I should embrace again. Â It was a very uplifting way to start the day. Â It also kept me from taking things (and people) in my life for granted.
Even without a set morning ritual, I find myself feeling thankful often throughout the day. Â At this exact moment, I’m grateful for the white tulips Scott bought me for Valentine’s Day, in a blue vase on the table next to me; they are Â doing a graceful tulip bow as the stalks gradually give in to gravity. Â I’m grateful for the roof over my head as I write this, listening to the rain falling outside. Â I’m grateful for the rain, period, which will keep the hills beautifully green for a while longer, which will fill up the reservoirs and stave off a drought. Â And it’s nice to be grateful for all this, because it’s a feeling that always draws me closer to God.
I found a quotation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti that says,Â “The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful, and has nobody to thank.” I can’t say whether or not most atheists would agree with that statement, but from my own experience, I’ve found that all my moments of gratitude are sweet in part because I do believe. Â I do believe in a loving, benevolent presence out there who wills these things into being, who puts them within our our grasp, and who delights in our enjoyment of them. Â And that means a lot to me.