By Tom Allen

The more I open myself to gratitude, the more readily I see God at work in the world, and in real time. There are certain daily experiences that trigger my consciousness of that presence. This checklist helps me remember.

Moments of:

  • Beauty, transcendence, awe and wonder
  • Surprise, synchronicity, interruptions
  • Experiencing God at the “bottom of things” (e.g. cleaning out the cat’s litter box, janitorial work, interacting with the residents at my wife’s memory loss group home)
  • Insight and inspiration
  • Laughter, humor, and playfulness (finding the humor in day to day living – excluding sarcasm, cynicism, etc.)
  • Intimacy, community, connectedness, belonging
  • Physical diminishment (recognizing and embracing my vulnerability, powerlessness, fragility, and weakness as gift)
  • Awareness of my own shadow brought to me by my upset at others
  • Any and all kinds of feelings including fear, anxiety, anger, resentment, impatience, etc. because they always point to something deeper.
  • A sense of stewardship for and about communities of which I am a part.
  • Awareness of being cared and provided for in food, clothing, and shelter.

An author of an article I read says it best (author unknown) “Gratitude is not a feeling, but a path – an organic opening of the heart to thankfulness and praise that can be cultivated regardless of one’s mood or circumstances.”