by Leah Kostamo
The hallmark of a truly “simple” life is gratitude. “Gratitude is the heart of faith,” writes Mary Jo Leddy, author of Radical Gratitude. In this vein, she relates a lovely prayer of gratitude the Jewish people pray every Passover as they celebrate the deliverance of the Hebrew people from Egypt. The prayer centres around the Hebrew word Dayenu, which in English means, It would have been enough.
If you had only led us to the edge of the Red Sea but not taken us through the waters, it would have been enough.If you had only taken us through the Red Sea but not led us through the desert, it would have been enough.If you had only led us through the desert but not taken us to Sinai, it would have been enough.
Leddy suggests using this template as a helpful spiritual exercise in reflecting on one’s own life. For example: If I had only been born but not had a twin sister, it would have been enough. If I had only had a twin sister but hadn’t visited Orcas Island, it would have been enough. If I had only seen the sun set off Otter’s Point, but hadn’t experienced a snowfall in the Rockies, it would have been enough.
When we are satisfied with our lives as being enough, we are able to resist the whispers of consumerism that tell us we don’t have enough or we are not enough. When our sense of satisfaction is rooted in an amazement at the givenness of every gift”from friends to home to our very own lives”then we are grounded in the firm grace of abundance.
Leah Kostamo and her husband Markku have worked for the past ten years to establish the ministry of A Rocha in Canada (arocha.ca). As part of A Rocha’s work they established a Christian environemntal center on the coast of British Columbia. The center is a hub for a myriad of conservation, education and sustainable living activities. Leah blogs about their salmon saving, stranger welcoming, organic gardening adventures at leahkostamo.com.