This week I finished reading The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother. In the epilogue he describes his mother at the time of writing, 84 years old:
She wakes up each morning with a smile, saying, “I’m blessed,” or “Thank you, Jesus,” or “I hold on to God’s unchanging hand.” She’s content with her life, has taken the bumps and bruises with as much grace as she can…
I read that and have tried since to wake up with a smile and a word of gratitude. I don’t remember as often as I’d like, but sometimes I remember at other moments of the day, in the midst of busy errands or other distractions from what matters. A simple “Thank you that I’m alive today” goes a long way for straightening perspective.
While I’m sharing, here’s another couple juicy quotes on devotion from Brother Lawrence:
When we are busied,… even in our time of set devotion… we ought to cease for one brief moment as often as we can, to worship God in the depth of our being, to taste Him though it be in passing, to touch Him as it were by stealth.
We must go about our labors quietly, calmly, and lovingly, entreating Him to prosper the works of our hands; by thus keeping heart and mind fixed on God, we shall bruise the head of the evil one, and beat down his weapons to the ground.
P.S. The Color of Water is a great read, and James McBride’s website is worth visiting if just for the music!