Thankfulness works in the Christian community as it usually does in the Christian life. Only those who give thanks for the little things receive the great things as well. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts prepared for us because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think that we should not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be seeking the great gifts. Then we complain that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experiences that God has given to other Christians, and we consider these complaints to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the small (and yet really not so small!) gifts we receive daily. How can God entrust great things to those who will not gratefully receive the little things from God’s hand?This is a passage that should, I think, be read and re-read by those of us who are involved in any way in the contemplative life. We are all so deeply infected, from childhood if not before, with our culture's ideals of progress and achievement, that we find it all but impossible to accept that our "daily gifts" are enough, are really God's good and sufficient gifts for the life of prayer into which he has called us; and we constantly abandon them in favour of fantasies of a spiritual life we imagine somewhere out beyond us, on some higher level to which we should aspire.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
These things are not God's way, I feel. God calls us in the little things, in the touch of the moving air, bird-shadows on cropped grass, in the simplicity of prayer.
My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quietened myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content...