When I am not careful, ingratitude is my default. I pay attention to what is lacking, what I don’t have, and what might have been. I slip into this ingratitude without effort, unawares, like slipping into sleep. If I want to stay awake and live eyes-wide-open, I can’t afford to be passive. I have to roll up my sleeves and do the good work of giving thanks. I have to hunt for the thank-Yous and savor them and write them down--a friend’s good news; the dog lapping cold water; crackers with peanut butter; a stranger met and enjoyed without judgment; squirrels chasing; Jenn’s eyes; headache disappearing; a song savored; soft rain on skylight; watching a grandfather love. Then, at day’s end, I can enjoy them all again and, in the enjoying, slip into sleep.

“'Tis hard for man to rouse his spirit up. . . / Many will rather lie among the slain / Than creep through narrow ways the light to gain. . . / But he who would be born again indeed, / Must wake his soul unnumbered times a day, / And urge himself to life with holy greed; / Athirst and empty, for God's breath to fill.” George Macdonald
“Awake, O sleeper!” Ephesians 5:14