I get in my car in the morning, already frustrated that I'm running late. I tune the radio to NPR as it reports on the shocking results of an important study, and I almost miss my turn. My phone rings, only to have the car behind beep the horn because the light turned green exactly one nanosecond ago and I haven't moved. It's a typical morning commute in New Jersey.
Driving while distracted may be life-threatening, but praising while distracted might just be heart-threatening. How many times on Sunday morning, while singing "praise God from whom all blessings flow," are we actually thinking things like: Am I prepared for my meeting tomorrow? Did I remember to get milk?
Praising God with our whole hearts is hard to do. But that's why we do it together. When we sing or pray together, and watch the plate/basket/bag lifted in our midst, we can SEE right in front of us so much to be grateful for.
Gracious God, I praise you for all the blessings you have given me, even the ones I take for granted. Help me to give my whole heart, soul, being, and mind in giving thanks for these gifts. Amen.
Psalm 111 (NRSV)
1 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.