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Giving Thanks For All the Little and Big Things in Life



Would it surprise you to learn that you can begin changing your life right now, right where you are? As easily as turning on a light switch? It would? Good! You just started.

This article appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of Spirituality & Health. Have you ever noticed how your eyes open a bit wider when you are surprised? It is as if you had been asleep, merely daydreaming or sleepwalking through some routine activity, and you hear your favorite tune on the radio, or look up from the puddles on the parking lot and see a rainbow, or the telephone rings and it's the voice of an old friend, and all of a sudden you're awake. Even an unwelcome surprise shakes us out of complacency and makes us come alive. We may not like it at first, but looking back, we can always recognize it as a gift. Humdrum equals deadness; surprise equals life. In fact, my favorite name for the One I worship in wonder -- the only name that does not limit God -- is Surprise. Right this moment, as I remember spiritual giants I have been privileged to meet -- Mother Teresa, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, His Holiness the Dalai Lama -- I can still feel the life energy they radiated. But how did they come by this vitality? There is no lack of surprises in this world, but such radiant aliveness is rare. Wha …

Brother David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., is the author of Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer and A Listening Heart. A senior member of the Benedictine monastery Mount Saviour, he is a leader in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, a popular speaker, and a columnist for

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