Being Thankful … for Something

thankful-turkey-for-websiteBy Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn’t learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little.
And if we didn’t learn a little,
at least we didn’t get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn’t die;
so, let us all be thankful. -Buddha

As part of our ongoing life formation study, we have been reading and discussing the Thanksgiving Psalms recently. There are many to be found!

One of the things we were asked to do recently was to reflect on a personal experience of thanksgiving … a way to connect the psalms to our everyday life.

Well, I thought of this quote from Buddha. I carry it around in one of my Bibles. It reminds me that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for in life.

Even on those days when I’ve made a big mistake at prayer … had a little guy wet his pants … had another student throw up … had another one refuse to take a nap (I NEEDED that nap!) … gotten caught in a traffic jam … which made me late for Vespers … even when I managed to put the sleeve of my shirt in spaghetti at supper … even when all I want to do is to move to Australia (if you haven’t read Alexander’s Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, please do and you will understand the move to Australia) … even then, thanks to the Buddha, I am able to sit on my bed and be thankful the day is almost over.

Oh, there’s more to be thankful for. For example, when Sister Mary Jane smiled at me today from across the chapel, I felt her spirit with me. That buoyed me all day!

Each night, I write down what I have been thankful for in my little sketch book. Some days I fill up more than one page … and others I can be lucky to write one or two things. I always write something, because, in the spirit of the Buddha, sometimes it’s just good that we are still alive. 🙂

What do you write?

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