86,400 seconds…


I came across this quotation, in the illustration above, in a book I’ve been reading recently ** about how we regularly show our gratitude and give thanks for all we are blessed with, on a daily basis.

Saying ‘thank you’ is such a simple, automatic  and basic thing to do and yet they are two words which are all too often sadly forgotten for the everyday things in life.

We live in a society which is increasingly quick to criticise and slow to appreciate and give thanks.

Some years ago, I priest I respected very much indeed, introduced me to his own personally designed ‘Morning Prayer’, which he called simply his ‘Good Morning God’. An essential part of it was giving thanks and blessing for the new day.

Over the years, I have personalised it further, but it still includes that basic element of thanksgiving. It is just a great way to begin the day, even if you are not sure of your belief and level of faith. Greeting the new day and giving thanks for what opportunities it will offer is just such a positive thing to do, because every day does and will bring with it new opportunities. Every new day is an unwritten page of our life’s story, and how we begin that day and go about it, is important. We need to make each day count and recognise it as a blessing.

I have often spoken of ‘living life to the full’, it sort of became my mantra when I hit 60, three years ago. I hadn’t shared the traumas of my childhood and adolescence then, but I knew that whatever time I had left, I was going to make the most of it.

The big 6-0 came with many blessings of its own, including the promise of my first ever cruise. This was a whole new adventure of its own and turned out to be better than I could ever have dreamed of.

Since then, I have done so much and I am thankful for so much. It goes without saying of course, that not every day has not been a happy one. It is no secret that last year was one of the worst of my life, in terms of finally having to face up to the abuse I suffered in my younger years, but then the blessings I received in 2020 were just amazing. The support from my family, as I disclosed what had happened to me, and the unconditional love and support offered by my brother and sister when I revealed events from decades ago concerning their mum and dad, were phenomenal. I was so very truly blessed. And then there was the counsellor, who walked alongside me. What a total blessing she was from the moment I met her.

So, even when our lives seem to be in a mess, if we look carefully, there are so many things for us to be thankful for.

The events of the past year, as a result of Covid-19, have put a strain on so many families, upon relationships, upon businesses and upon personal finances and I can imagine it being hard for some people to find things to be thankful for. But if we can manage that thankfulness, then we can begin to break through and lift our heads above all that has the potential to constantly pull us down.

For me, beginning the day and saying: ‘Good morning God’ and ‘Thank you for the new day’, go hand in hand because I only need look around me during any day to see how I am blessed; to look out of my window and see the buzzard land in the tree in the garden, or walk through the woodland close by our vicarage and hear the sound of the woodpecker, or spot the first crocus pushing its head through the hardened ground.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day.

How long can it really take us to pause and say ‘thank you’ for some small blessing?

And is it worth it? Well, just think how it makes you feel in your heart when you do say ‘thank you’ and really mean it.

Recognising the wonder of all that is around us, all we have been given, and being thankful for it, will always make us see and appreciate even more of it.

That appreciation will then lighten our hearts, fill us with a sense of joy and brighten every day even as it begins.

Try it!

It is undoubtedly worth it.

**’The Magic ~ Rhonda Byrne**

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