Praise to the Lord, creator of heaven and earth, who has created the fruit of the vine.
This little Jewish prayer, and many like it, in several translations and rewordings, are changing my life. The ritual giving thanks, for thunder, for new clothes, for food, for every little experience of life, this is something really new to me. I was raised to pray, whether I felt like it or not, and usually not, but I was always kind of given the impression that if I didn't feel like it there was something wrong with me.
Blessed relief! It doesn't matter how it makes me feel! I can be thankful anyway!
Even if I feel rubbish, tired, ungrateful, I can say the words and mean them. I don't need to feel the "I love you" to say it, because love is not ONLY a feeling, it is also an act of the will. I don't need to feel thankful to KNOW that I am blessed, that life is good, that the world has a rightness about it beyond me and my current comprehension.
This one of many things that I have gained from the snippets of Jewish life I have been investigating for years now. Church in its many forms I have experienced for many more years. ;)
But something I am recognising more and more is that I was seriously misled by the idea that my FEELINGS about God were the most important thing. I'm sure this is not something anyone ever intended to teach me, but there it is. I have spent most of my life subconciously expecting that how I felt about something would change its essence.
This is the shift: waste time trying to manufacture feelings, or decide to persue what is right and good a wholesome NO MATTER HOW I FEEL?
(I'm not dismissing the importance of my feelings - and by extention, my instincts - but wow. I just today realised that I AM thankful even when I don't feel *happy*.)