We wake up each morning, mostly feeling fine. We open our eyes, we hear the first sounds of day, we stretch, emerge from a warm bed to a warm room, go to the bathroom for a morning pee, flush the toilet, find clean water on tap, wash, clean our teeth, dress ourselves, enter the kitchen, press a switch, make a cup of tea or coffee, have breakfast.
What we receive and what we give in life are like entries in a bank account. We look at all today’s income with amazement and see little or no outgoings. It makes us realise that world owes us naught. It is we who owe so much to the world. Can we try today to reduce the debit balance in life’s books?
The everyday morning ritual provides us with an ideal opportunity to notice the benefits that we so often take for granted, rest and shelter, the comforts of a home, light and heat, drinking water, sanitation, clothing, footwear, food for breakfast, refrigeration, power, and all this before we have hardly begun the day. Have we even noticed the air that we breathe, have we been aware of our lungs working though the night, without any intervention on our part, another unnoticed wonder, bringing us to the gift of this new day?
If we can open our eyes to the simple things that every new morning unfailingly brings it will inform our attitude and affect for the better our relationship with the people we will meet in the course of the day. An attitude of gratitude is a positive beginning to any day and a positive focus in any life.
Instead of complaining when the breakfast cereal runs out we would benefit greatly by reminding ourselves of all the days when the supply has not run out. Just consider for a moment where our breakfast has come from. Think of the ingredients, the planting, the careful cultivation, harvesting, packaging and transporting of this everyday commodity before it finally lands in the shop where we select it from an astounding variety of different possibilities offered to us in this amazingly beneficent world. Reflect for a moment on all the people whose dedicated and co-operative work has been involved in bringing this first meal of the day to us. Not only have we the cereal but we have it packed with the benefit of quality control standards, best before date calculated, vitamin content shown and dietary advice offered on the pack. Yet this breakfast, product of so much labour and loving effort can be eaten mindlessly, even munched on the hoof as we direct our attention to the TV, the newspaper, electronic devices and while planning “other things to be done”
Many people believe in God, others do not, but whatever our attempt at understanding this wondrous reality in which we live and move, this awakening to a new day and the receipt of such benefits even before the day’s work begins is a cause for pause and a reason for profound thankfulness and constant gratitude.
We might usefully turn around a phrase of G. K . Chesterton and exclaim “Here begins another day, yesterday I had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me. Why am I allowed yet another day?”