Brian McLaren writes of a time he had insomnia . . . so instead of lying there unhappy because he couldn’t sleep, he decided to enter into a time of “prayer” with God, focusing on gratitude.


His message was powerful and causes me to pose the question, “What if we each were to pick something we are blessed by and then let God speak to us in those moments?”


I invite you to read McLaren’s words . . .


“The other night I was experiencing a bout of insomnia, so this is just what I did.

I brought the blessings of my life to mind, one by one.
I didn’t name them; I just pictured them while holding thanks open before God.
I pictured what I had eaten for dinner a few hours earlier and then the farmers who made it.


Then I thought of all farmers everywhere, my mind quickly imagining scenes of rice paddies and wheat fields and vineyards and ranches and aquaculture ponds, from America to China to Argentina to Russia to Uganda to Canada.


Then I pictured the blessings of soil and sun and rain, which got me thinking about the water cycle and sunlight and the solar system and the galaxy.


And soon my mind was dazzled with a sense of the one big thing we call the universe, and-this might sound silly, but it might not-I felt a profound gratitude not just for the gifts that pertain to me and my life here and now, but for the gift of everything, everywhere, always.


Instead of seeing the universe and its many gifts revolving around me as, sad to say, I normally do, for a few minutes I saw myself as one gift within the larger gift that we call creation.


And I felt thankful not just that certain gifts are part of my life, but more; I felt thankful that my life can be part of this bigger gift, this sacred Given-ness.


I’m fifty-four years old, and I don’t think I ever felt that kind of great big gratitude until the other night.


There was a kind of ecstasy to it, a deep delight and weighty joy that stayed with me as I drifted off to sleep, and remains with me now.” 


McLaren, Brian D. (2011-03-15). Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (pp. 69-70). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.



Question to Ponder:

  • What is something that you can ponder that will cause you to meditate on the bigger blessings of the universe?

Potential Action:

  • Take one minute (time yourself) and for that period of time write down every single thing you are thankful for. Can be as “minuscule” or grand as whatever comes to your mind.