Sunday Series: Recognizing the Blessings of "Now"
Hello and welcome back to the blog my dear Reader!
I am so happy to be back at it, albeit a little late. We have been very busy lately, with a trip to our cabin up North, a trip to Canada for a wedding this past weekend, visits with MANY relatives, and then appointments and tidying back home. It's been so nice to see everyone, and a little crazy for me to take time off of the blog, so I am so happy to be back in the groove.
These past few days I realized that I really missed writing and blogging! It wasn't a huge relief to skip a few blogs because I actually adore my writing time.
Blogging isn't some huge burden to me: it's delightful and relaxing to get these words out, and I never feel like I've wasted time, or that I'm so frustrated with it. I have to admit though, that maybe it's partially because I sit down to write these posts, run through the first draft, and then click "publish" before two hours have even gone by.... spelling errors be damned!
But in total, it was good for me to miss my blogging dates this past week because it reminded me to be extra grateful for the gift of writing, of communication, and of just... language in general.
I think I had been taking blogging a little bit for granted recently, until I wasn't able to do it!
But isn't that how it always goes? There are so many things we don't even think about until they are taken away from us: basic food, shelter, communication, health, and so much more. Last night, my husband and I watched the film "The Book of Eli," and in the film the characters are struggling in a post-apocalyptic world. Simple items like a scarf or even a packaged hand wipe from KFC are worth hundreds of dollars, and water is completely scarce.
When speaking of the time before the apocalypse to his companion Solara, Eli states:
"People had more than they needed, people didn't know what was precious and what wasn't, people threw away things they kill each other for now.”
"People threw away things they kill each other for now."
That phrase really struck me. It made me think of all the things that I throw away in my life, or even the things that I just overlook that are not to be taken for granted. I cannot imagine living in a world where a simple hand wipe is so valuable when I throw those away after visiting a restaurant!
It's so easy to get used to the decadence and the comfort of modern living. It's not exactly our fault that we're so comfortable... it's just the world we are born into! It's rational to feel that life has always been this way, and life will always be this way, and it's rational to feel shocked and horrified when our health, money, or basic needs are taken from us. These things are so accessible in our world that it makes sense that we fail to recognize how incredible those things are in the first place.
I know that I often struggle with taking the blessings in my life for granted until it's too late. I never think about my nose until it's runny, and I never think about my stomach until it hurts. Humans are funny that way; we tend to zero in on the blessings we enjoy, only after they are taken from us.
I know that I talk about gratitude a lot on my blog, but I am becoming more and more convinced that it is a necessary and essential component to a peaceful and contented life. I believe that gratitude unlocks a peace in us that we cannot experience even if every single one of our wildest dreams was met.
Because the truth is that even if we had everything we so desperately desire, we could still focus on the things we DON'T have. I have been so guilty of this, finding flaws in my life despite the magnanimous blessings all around me that other people would die for.
It is my hope that I can continue to find joy and peace in the amazing blessings I have today, so that I will never think myself a fool in the future for taking them for granted. May we all be grateful for the food, shelter, health, and relationships we have now. Let us care for those things and be stewards of them, nurturing our health and relationships to be the best they can be.
We never know when tragedy will strike. We never know when the basic things will be taken away from us. We could be living in a Book of Eli world before we die for all we know! All we can do in the moment is celebrate the things we have now and find a measure of contentment, even amidst the trials and struggles we face.
So today, join with me in being grateful for the small things; for warm water, a hot coffee, and eyes that work. Let's be thankful for our husbands, our friends, and even for our nosey neighbors. Let's be thankful and continue to foster gratitude, giving thanks to the Lord, not for what we have or don't have in life, but simply for the fact that we serve a good good Father.
Take a moment to hold your loved ones closer today, and don't forget to thank God for your home. Let us not learn the lesson of gratitude the hard way.