Te Deum by Charles Reznikoff, 1894 – 1976
Not because of victories
but for the common sunshine,
the largess of the spring.
Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.
The word for today and this poem go hand in hand. I remember first feeling simple gratitude about something as mundane as the flat flat corn fields of central Illinois. Maybe it was because I was desperate to find something pretty from something I saw so often, but in every season the fields are something to be thankful for.
Gratitude changes a person from the inside out. Gratitude of the simplest things turns into true joy and happiness, no matter one’s circumstances. Not every season is bountiful. Some seasons are just difficult, but as Paul said to Thessalonians: In everything, give thanks.
There is something supernatural that happens when God receives our gratitude. Even when all victories seem to be lost and it’s hard to see ahead to the next day, we have the common things to be thankful for: breath, sunshine, breeze, and satisfying work.