Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thankful for you

To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments.  Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living.  It is all we can offer in return for the mystery by which we live.  Who is worthy to be present at the constant unfolding of time?  Amidst the meditation of mountains, the humility of the flowers -- wiser than all alphabets -- clouds that die constantly for the sake of His glory, "we" are hating, hunting, hurting.  Suddenly we feel ashamed for our clashes and complaints in the face of the tacit glory in nature.  It is so embarrassing to live!  How strange we are to the world, and how presumptuous our doings!  Only one response can maintain us: gratefulness for witnessing the wonder, for the gift of our unearned right to serve, to adore, and to fulfill.  It is gratefulness which makes the soul great.  -From Man's Quest for God by Abraham Joshua Heschel 

In high school, we spent a lot of time studying arguments for the existence of God.  Cosmological argument, teleological argument, etc.  That kind of thing.  And I suppose there is a place for that.  But I've always been moved the most, in terms of evidences for the existence of God, by my overwhelming desire to say thank you to somebody for the moon.  How can people begin to be satisfied with having a general "gratefulness" without someone to whom to say "thank you"?  I suppose we can start by saying thank you to each other, but who do we say thank you to for each other, which seems like the greater desire.  

So anyway, I am thankful to you, for reading this blog, and I thank my God for you and the wonderful way He made you.  I am not worthy to witness the miracle of another human life.  And then to get to be one!  Walking around, talking, breathing, loving, drinking pumpkin pie batter from the bowl.  And then to get to talk to the Creator of my friends and family and say, "well done, good and faithful God."  It does feel a bit presumptuous I have to admit, but I suppose so is living life, prayer, the act of thanksgiving itself.  Who are we to pronounce goodness on this life?  And yet that is what we are called to and invited to join with God from the beginning of time who saw that it was good and very good.  
I love the word "ascribe."  I could think about it for years and years and never fully understand it, yet it must go hand and hand with our thanksgiving lest our thanks be as hollow as the balloons floating above New York Streets.  And it is a joy to do so.  Thank you God for the moon!  

"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness." -Psalm 29:2 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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