SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR
To take something for granted is to thoughtlessly assume that it always be there or stay exactly the same way as it is now.
I have taken many things for granted in my life—my health, my family, my friends, my capacity to earn a good living. While I am deeply grateful for all these somethings, I still tend to thoughtlessly assume that I will always have them exactly as they are today, despite the fact that I know this to be untrue on an intellectual level.
I know that without warning I could lose any of these somethings in the blink of an eye. Despite one’s efforts to lead a decent life, bad things happen to “good” people every day. The fact that I give to charity won’t keep me from having a stroke, if that is what is in the cards. Sudden loss of a something is largely outside of my control.
I also know that even if I don’t lose a something quite so precipitously, none of my somethings will stay the way they are now because that is the nature of life. Mortal flesh decays. Children grow into adults and start families of their own. An experienced lawyer in his prime will become an old lawyer who should step aside. Nothing of today will be this way tomorrow, if only in increments that cannot be seen with the human eye—until those increments pile up over the years into change that cannot be ignored.
I also have learned from experience that whether a loss of something is sudden or gradual it will cause me pain and lead to mourning. There is nothing I can do about that other than to have no somethings in the first place, but what kind of life would that be?
So while loss and mourning are inevitable, there is something that is within my control—the feeling of deep regret I will have when I realize that I have taken for granted that which is now lost to me. Thankfully, I know that I can avoid that regret by one simple act: by being thankful today for what I know will be gone tomorrow.
Which is is why I am thankful for Thanksgiving Day. Distracted as I may be by the world and its machinations, here is one day each year that my country has set aside for me to take a pause and practice deliberate gratitude for all those somethings by which I have been blessed.
So that is what I will do today, Thanksgiving Day of the 57th year of my life. I am going to be thankful for all of these wonderful somethings the Lord has provided me and acknowledge that while they will not always be with me, someday (on that day of His choosing) I will be with Him.
That is something to be thankful for.