Today, I am giving thanks for an elderly lady that has become a regular part of my life, and for the lessons that I am learning from her. As her mental faculties decrease, it has become increasingly obvious to me that she established habits of thinking and living that continue to guide her thoughts and behavior. It is second nature for her to give thanks to God for simple things in life...things we normally take for granted.
It might be as simple as thanking him, aloud, that she has not always struggled with pain as she does now. Or thanking him for the joy she finds in a story from childhood...or for a husband who is good to her...or for a father who read to her. Because her ability to reason is decreased, it is incredibly clear that these thoughts and words come from a pattern she set long ago...a pattern of giving thanks daily for the simple gifts in life. I am often rebuked by her attitude and reminded how important it is for me to form those habits of mind and heart now.
I thank God for the older saints he places in our path to teach us wisdom.