Last week, I got to spend several days in a Jewish day school. As you can imagine, the experience was fascinating, enlightening, and rewarding both personally and professionally. Being surrounded by others’ outer expressions and declarations of faith really had me reflecting on my own.
One observation in particular has continued to lead to more reflection since leaving…
The first day I spent at the school, I started in the kindergarten class. They start their day with davening, which are specific prayers that reminded me very much of hymns, but with a more specific purpose. So, these little kids are learning the special prayers that they will use to worship for the rest of their lives.
One that they learned was a prayer that they were learning to say after each time they went to the bathroom, a prayer of thankfulness that their bodies were working.
Every time they go to the bathroom, they take time to thank God for keeping their bodies working. I don’t know about you, but God doesn’t typically come into my mind when going to the bathroom.
But why not? Isn’t He my Creator? My Keeper? My ultimate “maintenance guy?”
Every single thing I do should not just be done in, but preceded and followed by gratitude and praise!
What a difference it would make to our attitudes and lives if we looked at ALL of our experiences as a gift from God – if we recognized his majesty and power in everything – give thanks for everything always.
I learned so much and am still processing my visit to this school. But I do know that those four and five year old Jewish boys and girls humbled my heart. They pushed me to contemplate all the ways that God’s hands reach into my life and be grateful for His many blessings He shows me everyday – not just subliminally thankful, but intentionally and explicitly grateful.