I think one of the most wonderful prayers I have ever heard was a prayer of random thanksgiving in which Brennan Manning thanked God for trout in the stream, chocolate ice-cream, the wind blowing in a woman’s hair, music by Haydn etc… The Reformed part of me thought, “That does not follow the structure or content of Paul’s prayers,” but at the same time, it seemed to fit my heart as a child of God. It is, I must admit, maybe more the type of prayer we pray in private to Abba, but somehow overhearing and eavesdropping on the private prayer of a child of God secure in Abba’s love really blessed me.
There are times when I am just overcome with random thanksgiving for random things. 1001 things can spark that thanksgiving off. Once I was watching dogs swimming in the sea and playing happily on a beach. Somehow a whole stream of joyful thanksgiving seemed to arise, attended by carefree laughter. Out of that I found myself writing this poem about thanksgiving but also about lack of thanksgiving. I guess I am sharing it here because in my last blog I said that if by the grace of God we can live in constant gratitude and perhaps through so doing help a spirit of thanksgiving to be released in somebody else, well that can prove to be a powerful internal evangelist.
If you are not the poetic type, this won’t grab you: I appreciate that. In that case, ditch the poem but not the thrust of this blog. In private with Abba, start thanking Him for something that grabs your immediate attention; begin there, don’t end there. “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” That may be an old line from an old song, but it is an ever new truth.
For eightsome reels
And twin making waters,
For swimming dogs
And staggering toddlers,
For day-shared thoughts
And songs in the darkness…
Thanks rise … from where to where?
One falls to the floor
a leper no more,
Nine dance through the door
Eighteen darkened eyes.
Copyright K.S. Borthwick
(Burntisland, 2012 – inspired by dogs!)
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