In a time long ago, a wise woman was making her way on a pilgrimage to the holy land. But it was a long, hot and tiring walk. So once her destination was in sight, the wise woman decided to lie down on the side of the road and rest up for the final leg of her journey.

A short time later, she felt someone kicking at her feet.

“Get up!”, the person shouted. “You are in sight of the holy land! How dare you lie down on sacred ground – on the place where God resides!”

At that, the wise woman replied, “Thank you, my friend, for pointing out my lack of reverence. Now, if you would be so kind to point me in the direction where God does not reside, I will be happy to go and lie down there.”…

Once again, we have entered the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving. More specifically, for us in the Christian spiritual tradition, it is a time when we are called to place special emphasis on the spiritual practice of gratitude. But the question for us is not just, “Are we grateful?”, for I have never known anyone who has not been grateful for something at some point. The greater question for us is, “What is the scope of our gratitude?” That, in turn, is dependent upon our answer to the question, “Where do we see God?”

If we believe, as we say we do in our tradition, that God is the source of all our blessings, and we also see, as the wise woman did, that there is no place – or person – in which God does not reside, then our gratitude will know no bounds. And gratitude, as countless spiritual leaders and guides have expressed throughout the centuries, is a foundation for other vital spiritual blessings, such as joy, compassion, and generosity.

As the 13th Century German theologian, philosopher and mystic Meister Eckhart wrote, “The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me.”

This Thanksgiving, and at all times, let us approach God with an eye that sees God residing in every direction – with an eye of gratitude.