One of the advantages of being human is that we have memory. We can do the same thing over and over again, making tiny adjustments, until we get it perfect. We can use this time and our awareness to make something really awesome occur.
One of the disadvantages of being human is that we forget. We do the same things over and over again, and we think we are doing them the same way and we aren’t paying attention at all. Our routine becomes mindless repetition.
I was in the middle of my yoga practice this morning. Currently it includes a warrior series – warrior one, two, and peaceful warrior. They are pretty predictable, but there are a lot of little adjustments I can make to improve them. In the middle of the practice I remembered that I needed to set an intention for my practice today. An intention is kind of like a prayer, but it has a little more focus.
An intention can be to heal yourself, or for the healing of someone you love, or for the healing of the world. You set your mind on a path, like aiming a plow at a field. Aim it well and dig deep, and you’ll reap an amazing harvest.
I said “God, I dedicate this day to you.” And then I got a strong feeling back – every day is God’s day. “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
All we do when we bless something is to remember. We are giving credit where credit is due. We are reminding ourselves that it came from God. We are giving back what has been given to us. We are being mindful that this amazing thing didn’t just happen out of nowhere. It wasn’t an accident. It is a gift, made for us to appreciate.
It is the same idea in giving the firstborn unblemished male offspring of the herd up for sacrifice. It isn’t the second born – you don’t have a backup. You don’t know if you are going to get another one. It is admitting that if it weren’t for God, you wouldn’t even have that one.
God’s math is different from our math.
Be thankful in all things, and in all times, for everything. The more we notice things to be thankful for, the more things we notice.
This isn’t the “prosperity gospel”. This isn’t about attracting wealth. This is about creating new eyes and a new heart. It is about creating a sense of wonder and amazement and thankfulness. When you start to look for things to be thankful for, you change. You soften, and open up. It becomes like an Easter egg hunt. You find one or two at the beginning, and then it leads you to the secret cache where you realize that everything is a gift, and everything is something to be thankful for.
That is the meaning of Easter as well – new life, new growth, new birth. There is always a chance to begin again. Why not now?
Sure, I know it isn’t Easter. It isn’t the New Year either. But the same idea holds. Every day is a good day to begin again, slate wiped clean. God offers this to us every day, and we accept this gift by being thankful.