Every morning the first thing we do when we wake up is say the special prayer of Modeh Ani. Before we start the craziness of our schedule, before we even eat our morning pudding, we are supposed to pause and say Modeh Ani Lefanecha.
If you think about it, it's a bit funny how we say it. You would think that the normal way to say it should be "Ani Modeh" as in "I am thankful". For some strange reason it is flipped the other way around to say "Modeh Ani". Why are we changing the sentence. If this is such an important prayer to start our day with, then we should really be saying it the right way.
Maybe the answer is because it's all about our perspective in life. When you say "Ani Modeh", then you are saying that the Ani, the "I", comes before the Modeh - the gratitude. Hashem really wants it to be flipped around the other way for us. The first thing we should think when we wake up in the morning is "Modeh", and only then do we say "Ani". Our perspective has to be, first and foremost, is that gratitude needs to be our attitude. Happiness and appreciation need to be the first thing in the morning that we express, especially when are grumpy and we didn't have our coffee yet!
I have learned a lot at Lev Zion. By far one of the most important things is that a Jew needs to make it a priority to live a life of gratitude and happiness. Every day I wake up to thank G-d for having the opportunity to do mitzvos, be in Yeshiva, and be a good person. I now wake up every morning thankful for every breath of fresh air.
~ Nachman is a second year student at Lev Zion, and is originally from Maryland, Baltimore.