Every Day Is a Gift
Every day is a gift... That is a phrase that has been turning over in my mind the last few days.
I am a mom of two beautiful boys under the age of three. With the two of them in the house, every day is something new. Not just in the sense that Brandon and I never know what to expect from them (though often that is true as well), but they are new to this life. Everyday they encounter things that they have never seen or done before — walking, a neat bug, riding a bike, rain, stars. They are seeing the world for the first time, and as their mom, I am lucky enough to be along for the ride and get to re-experience the world through the lens of that awe and curiosity.
At the same time I have become keenly aware of mortality. Over the last year, death — or the threat of death — has come too close to home. I have had dear friends pass away and other
friends diagnosed with diseases that threaten to take their lives. Even pastors struggle with accepting mortality. Children should not be left without their mothers; wives shouldn’t be left without their husbands; friends shouldn’t be left to do life on their own.
On a day last spring when those anxieties were getting the best of me, I was talking with a friend whose wife was beginning her fight with cancer. I asked him how he was processing it, if despair had begun to edge its way in. He responded with absolute confidence saying something to the effect of “I am not happy about the prognosis, but I have always said that every day is a gift. I can’t change my mind now. I still approach each day as a blessing, and hopefully we will have many more blessings to come. But today, I am just grateful for today.” And I was humbled.
The reality is that, I know that, I identify with that, that is my belief as well. We truly are blessed to enjoy each day we are given. Our responsibility is to make the most of each of those blessings.
Each day we need to focus on the blessings of each moment. What do we have to be thankful for? Family, health, friends, shelter, time to relax... What else? A church community that challenges us to grow, that supports us when we feel close to the edge, loves us when we feel unlovable... What about the little things? Green grass, a cool rain, the warm sun, a chirping bird... Why not all of it? Even the painful pieces. Being thankful for the grief we experience after losing someone we love dearly, because that means they left a mark on our hearts. Being thankful for having a tighter budget because it challenges your family to be more creative with your entertainment, more imaginative with your gift giving.
Take some time to think about how today is a gift from God to you. The big things and the little things, the good things and perhaps even the hard things. I pray that each of us can view life through the eyes of a little child, cherish each other as if these were our final days, and respond with gratitude to the God who gives us the gift of each day.