Cross Posted on Life-Of-Rubin)
Every morning when I wake up I try my hardest to remember to say Modeh Ani. It's something that I do forget to do quite often. I try to remember, but sometimes I forget. It's one of the things I work on. It might seem like a small thing and in some ways it is. But I really think it means a lot. Sometimes in being frum we are reminded that we are obligated to do the mitzvos. It becomes something that we are supposed to do. That we have to do. Something that we must do, and not something that we want to do. The lessons in these smaller things are sometimes the greatest lessons in life that we can learn.
Modeh Ani is in it's simplest form, thanking Hashem for returning our neshoma to us each morning. We thank Hashem for waking up. How simplistic no? Just for waking up. Our day didnt even start. Nothing has happened yet. We are in essence thanking him for a day that has yet to unfold. In fact it's possible that we could have a bad day. (I had a bad day again ... She said I would not understand .... sorry .. got lost in a good song ...) So yes, it's possible that we may have a bad day. So it seems odd that we are thanking Hashem for a day that hasnt unfoled yet.
Of course it's entirely possible that I'm reading into this wrong and we are thanking him for the overall picture. For the time we've had so far. Either way, the lesson thats eaisly learnt here is that no matter the time of refeence. It's important to be thankful in general. I would like to think we are thanking Him for a day that has yet to unfold because in that way the lesson I take from saying Modeh Ani is that much stronger.
Like I said before, i think that in the smaller mitzvos that we do, lay the biggest lessons for us. Lessons that are not always deep devar torahs or answers to deep rooted questions of chasidic phlisophy or jewish life. Sometimes it's the simple lessons of life and daily conduct that we learn from these "small" gems.
Like many mitzvos that we do, even the "bigger" ones, I feel that even though we are obligated to do them. They are sometimes practicly speaking - good for us. Like thanking Hashem. It's good to remember to be thankful. To take stock in our lives. To be happy with our lot and have a positive outlook on our day. Sometimes our "obligation" to do these mitzvos force us to do something so simple that we really should be doing it anyway.
PostScript: I really like this song. It's from this album.