Taking Life for Granted

My friend Jeanette has had to say good-bye to her brother-in-law, brother, and her mother in the last 18 months.  Illness and death have been frequent visitors.

We had a great catch-up conversation a few evenings ago, and she reminded me…

“Gaye, remember to appreciate the people you love.  Take time with them.  Be grateful for every moment you share with them. You don’t know how many more conversations you can have.”

This morning in church, our friend Tom commented on the beautiful sunny, winter day we’re having.  He reminded us that it is easy to take this nice weather for granted.  “We don’t know when the other shoe will drop!”  (In Minnesota, that means that we don’t know when the next blizzard will hit!)

Two different situations.
The lesson is the same.

We cannot, and should not, take the good things in our lives for granted.

Whining children will one day be too “cool” to cuddle and spend time on our laps.
Emotional teen-agers will one day live somewhere else.
Aging parents will one day take their last breaths.

Nice weather days are easily replaced with devastating storms.
A place to call home is too easily lost when the job situation changes.
The ability to read a good book, listen to jazz, walk in the fresh air…all can change when a driver runs a red light.

This isn’t a message of gloom…
This is a reminder of how good things really are.
How good we really have it.

It’s easy to focus on the minor irritations, those things that annoy us and keep us from keeping to our schedules.
But just think about all we have.  We are blessed.
We have much more than we need.

If you are feeling overwhelmed today, exhausted from caring for others, experiencing a severe case of “comparative-itis,” or are just tired of your current situation, may I suggest this…

Stop.  Take a breath.
Make a list of 25 things that are good in your life.
(You can start with the fact that your eyesight allows you to read this…add the fact you have a computer…add the fact that you have electricity…you get where I’m going with this, right?)

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. 
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever,
his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Now THAT’S something to be grateful for.


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