Messianic Education Trust
Modei ani ... I gratefully thank You, O living and eternal King, for You have returned my soul within me with compassion -- abundant is your faithfulness!
I wonder what your first words are when you wake up every morning ... I wish that mine were bright and cheerful: "Wow! Another day -- how exciting! I wonder what delightful thing I'll discover today, how I'll draw closer to G-d today, how I'll love and serve my friends and family today ..."
Sadly, my first words are usually groggy and overwhelmed: "What's that noise? Oh ... my alarm clock. That must mean it's time to get up ... oh-my-goodness, I have so much to do today ... I don't know how I'll get to do everything ..."
And so on and so forth.
According to Jewish tradition, the first thing a Jew should say every morning is Modei Ani ... upon opening his or her eyes, before getting out of bed or saying anything else, a Jew should thank G-d for 'returning [his or her] soul within [him or her] with compassion'. I say Modei Ani every morning, but I have to admit that I'm still working on saying this prayer before I say anything else -- to G-d and to myself.
Imagine starting every day with thankfulness and gratitude to G-d ... thankfulness and gratitude for being alive, for having another day, for having the ability to serve Him and the people He has put in our lives and given us to love! Each and every day is a gift!
When we sleep, our bodies are on 'auto-pilot' ... our hearts beat and our lungs breathe of their own accord, while our bodies repair and refresh themselves. We're out of control when we're asleep, but G-d is in control and each morning He wakes us up and 'returns [our] souls within [us] with compassion'.
On no morning should we wake up and moan to ourselves because another day has begun and we're just too tired to care about it. Instead, we should instantly look to G-d -- our Creator and our Sustainer -- and say, "I gratefully thank You ..."
As Craig Taubman says in one of his songs for children: Let's all stop and say "Thank you we're alive ..."
Judith Allen, Kislev 5768