Remember the old Popeye cartoons? Every one was exactly the same: Popeye, weak and sometimes at death's door and about to be defeated, would remember, just in the nick of time, to eat his spinach. Then he'd be a powerhouse -- his eyes would shine and his muscles would bulge and he'd beat every enemy in sight. Well, so it goes with gratitude. You're slouching along, eyes downcast, feeling burdened or discontent or bored or defeated, and then you remember that you have a choice. You can slog through the day from chore to chore, or you can choose to give thanks. You can stay in the small and stifling world of me, myself and I, or you can trade it for the clear vistas and fresh air of thank-you. It won't change your circumstances, but it'll change you so much that you'll hardly recognize them. Give it a try. Take five minutes right now to think of things to give thanks for on this new, clean-slate day -- a safe trip home or a roof over your head or a face that can smile. And then ask for eyes to see all the small crossroads -- the complain-or-give-thanks choices that usually slip by unnoticed. Before you fall asleep tonight, do a fly-over of the day and see what a difference all that spinach has made.
Father, thank you for giving me a fresh start today. Show me this day's hidden treasures. Apart from you, I'll miss them or take them for granted, so hold my hand and point out every one. May my small thanksgivings be music to your ears. Amen.