This is a simple thought, but today it’s striking me as important.

Yesterday I went to the beach with my family after church. We packed up our beach gear, packed up our dinner, and headed out. We had an amazing afternoon with the girls—relaxing, playing in the waves, turning the girls into sand-mermaids, the usual.

When it came time to eat our packed dinner, we paused to pray. My wife prayed for us, and then Claire, my youngest (3), asked if she could pray. Without closing her eyes, she started talking to God. She started close at hand.

“Thank you for the sand. Thank you for my crocs. Thank you for my water bottle.”

Then she ventured out.

“Thank you for my towel. Thank you for our food. Thank you for my shovel.”

Pretty soon she was almost running around our encampment.

“Thank you for my sister. Thank you for the water.”

She said many other things, but we couldn’t hear. She was caught up in her on-the-go prayer. She kept her eyes open, she took in what was around her, and she thanked God for every bit of it.

Running for the Ocean

Obviously, it was super cute. But then the blogger in me began to see the spiritual lesson. What if we spent our days this way?

For starters, what if we kept our eyes open? We look at everything around us every day, but we don’t really see much of it. It’s amazing what you can see when you really begin to look around.

And what if our waking moments were prayers?

Thank you for my computer. Thank you for the ability to communicate. Thank you for my health at this moment.

What if prayer was less of a scheduled event and more of an ongoing frenzied thank-you card as we ran through our schedules?

Thank you for my family. Thank you for my car. Thank you for employment. Thank you for my church family.

Our lives are filled with God’s gifts. We’re so busy using these gifts, so busy ignoring them, so busy taking them for granted. What if we thanked him repeatedly? With eyes wide open. With a sense of ongoing wonder. With an ingrained sense of gratitude that sees the beauty of the Giver in every big and small gift with which he surrounds us at every moment.

Honestly, what if?

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Mark Beuving currently serves as Associate Pastor at Creekside Church in Rocklin, CA. Prior to going back into pastoral ministry, Mark spent ten years on staff at Eternity Bible College as a Campus Pastor, Dean of Students, and then Associate Professor. Mark now teaches online adjunct for Eternity. He is passionate about building up the body of Christ, training future leaders for the Church, and writing. Though he is interested in many areas of theology and philosophy, Mark is most fascinated with practical theology and exploring the many ways in which the Bible can speak to and transform our world. He is the author of "Resonate: Enjoying God's Gift of Music" and the co-author with Francis Chan of "Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples." Mark lives in Rocklin with his wife and two daughters.