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It’s one of those ‘should do’ sort of things. Not from a holier than thou place, which is almost always the assumption when it comes from a person who claims a faith based perspective. ‘What a goody two shoes, miss prim, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-her-mouth. I bet behind closed doors she’s really a sex pervert…’

Yeah, there are a million and one stereotypes that can be applied from the outside. Sometimes those stereotypes have a basis in fact. Admittedly, I’ve met a few people in the church who fell into one or more of those assumptions. And, now that I spend a lot of time wandering in the wilderness I still see them sitting in the pews, casting glances of judgement my way. Or, maybe, I’m just imagining it.

Anyway, I am not putting up gratitude as a sign of how great I am or pious or pure. ‘Cause I ain’t. But I am grateful and I do, especially when I feel particularly pressed to feel positive, strive to find a few things to be grateful for each day. Goodness, what a tortured sentence….

I plan on making this a bit of a regular thing here so, without any further to-do, my 5 gratitudes for today.

1. Water. I live in a country so rich in water I can jump into it and drag my adipose up and down a pool in an effort to have a little less of this mortal flesh by the time I haul it out again. So far I’d say it is still more theory getting exercise than muscle but in time…I have faith in many things. Considering how many people in the world live in places where water is miles down the road, even a glass of pure, drinkable water is a blessing beyond price.

2. Acetaminophen and other modern, over the counter pain relievers. Aspirin, ibuprofen, you name it, I think it is great they exist. We have found a way to conquer pain or at least to hold it at bay and that is a good thing. The basis of this is that pain and disease are around us as are the ways to deal with them. God gave us the ability to discover the cure for cancer and, instead, we’ve invested that precious ability in ways of blowing up more of us faster and further away. In my books I’d rather have a better Aspirin than a better bomb.

3. Indoor plumbing.  I guess that’s just an extention of #1 but not really. It has taken a lot of brilliant minds centuries to design pipes, how to put really big ones underground and connect them to smaller ones that bring water to a house and then take it away with a few added nutrients. Toilets are simply the bonus round in this evolution of design. Altogether it is amazing. And when it’s cold, rainy and windy outside it is a true blessing to be able to stumble out of bed in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning or last thing at night and go down the hall rather than outside and down the path. Call me soft but I am very grateful. 

4. Glasses. The kind that let me see. When I was 7 I went from being a very bright kid to barely making a passing grade. I couldn’t keep up with the class. I memorized the prayers we were being taught for Confirmation because I couldn’t see the words on the board and on the posters Miss Daniels had put up all around the classroom. Heck, I couldn’t even see that there were posters. In a matter of a few months I went from regular vision to way short-sighted. By the time I was 15 I couldn’t see clearly 7 inches in front of my nose without glasses.  Now I only need them to read or work on the computer. Maybe you might not think that such a blessing but I do. I am grateful for glasses and the gift of sight that they bring me.

5. Cameras. Being able to freeze a moment and hold it, take it out hours, days or years later and experience those moments all over again. That is amazing. The older I get the more I am grateful for cameras and the people in my life who have used theirs or got in the way of mine.

See, that didn’t hurt a bit, did it…yeah, well, maybe it will get easier next time.