Using Zechariah 4:10 as his text, my good pastor reminded us this week to not despise the day of small things. Despite our personal weaknesses and the seeming helplessness at times of God’s people, God is yet building his Church and continues to direct the affairs of men toward his sure and glory-evoking ends.
Not despising the day of small things is the theme of Maryellen St. Cyr’s very timely post. She builds on the thanksgiving of a personal favorite of mine, Charlotte Mason, to inspire us to raise our souls to rejoice in the everyday graces of God.
My Soul Rises
When I think about Thanksgiving I think of a people or a person whose soul rises beyond the temporal to the eternal. The soul surveys a thousand good things from common life and ascends in praise. “How good is life, how joyous it is to go out of doors, even in the streets of a city! Surely a pleasant thing it is to see the sun! How good is health, even the small share of it allotted to the invalid! How good and congenial all the pleasant ways of home life, all family love and neighborly kindness, and the love of friends! How good it is to belong to a great country and share in all her interests and concerns! How good to belong to the world of men, aware that whatever concerns men, concerns us! How good are books and pictures and music! How delightful is knowledge! How good is the food we eat! How pleasant are the clothes we wear! How sweet is sleep, and how joyful is awaking!” 1
This is indeed an example of a rising soul! Yet, a rising soul is not a soul that rises only in appreciation for everything that pleases the self. The rising soul also emerges on an ascending path towards God in the midst of a world of suffering. The soul ascends in spite of the pain, in spite of the fear and in spite of the loneliness.
A heart full of thanksgiving surveys all of life. This way of being moves one on an emerging path to the presence of God – Excelsior!
1 Mason, Ourselves, 192.