Taking it for Granted
Some thoughts on thankfulness and the seasons of life.
I spend a lot of time wishing circumstances were different. Maybe it’s because I read these stories about everyone just enjoying an ordinary life, working somewhere not that special, going out for drinks every once in a while, and enjoying company of others. I guess sometimes I feel like I can’t just experience the moment, because I’m still training for a ‘better life’ while in school.
But recently I realized that even though I might not be ‘out’ in the real world, I can still experience those things here in school. I have a wonderful job, and am incredibly blessed by how awesome that place is. My group of friends is awesome, and for the first time I feel like I’m committed and connected. My school is amazing, and the theology program has enriched me so much. And for the first time, I’m going beneath the surface in my own life, digging deep into the things ail my soul. Yet, I still find that I take it for granted, as if it were a momentary passing experience to get me through these years, until I enter “real life” and become everything I’ve wanted to be.
But I’m here now, experiencing these things with these people. Part of me wants more ‘raw’ experiences with the world so I can write about them, and be interesting. I think I’m learning that the interesting experiences come from our willingness to really capture everything in front of us, rather than praying some crazy stuff starts happening to change up the monotonous rhythms of our lives. It comes from being fully alive in the moment, and experiencing the people and places you’re currently surrounded by. It’s delving into their stories, learning their quirks, working this job, studying this subject, and reading some books. It’s being spontaneous when it’s called for, and also planning. It’s being here. Not taking here for granted while wishing you could be there, wherever that is.
We have to work towards there.
If I want to be that person then, I’ve got to let myself work towards that now. In fact, why not just be him, now? With these friends. These places. That job. This school. This season of life. Because this season of life is only here once, and then gone forever…
So it’s better to soak it all in and be here, taking in all the experiences, friendships, relationships, small talk, odd jobs, late night closes at work, and elective courses you can. It’s the only time I can be a full time student who just turned 20 years old that works at a hip drive through coffee stand, hanging out with some other students during my free time, reading teen fiction, and trying to be a blogger in his free time.
And I think this is probably wise advice for every season of life. So many times I find myself taking whatever season I’m in for granted, wishing the next one to come along, as if that’s where life will be everything I’ve dreamed of. If I’m learning anything, it’s that life is never what we expected, so we have to make the most of what season we’re in, wherever that may be.
Another thing, there’s always something to be thankful for. No matter how bleak, or bland, or dreary, or terrible life is currently, there’s always a reason to be grateful. It might be the fact that we have a running car that day, or that we have a group of friends who loves and supports us in a time of change. It might be that you’re still breathing after the accident. It might be that you had a wonderful season with someone in life, and they’ve moved on. Or a new job wasn’t everything you expected it to be. But no matter how bad we can make life seem, there’s always a bright side, a blessing to count, a way to re-frame your situation and realize how good things actually are.
That’s not to say we should undermine the bad things, and make our sufferings out to be nothing. No, they are significant. All of them. They are hard, and tumultuous. Yet, we can get through them. And we can persevere, and be stronger on the other side.
In all things, I’m trying to be thankful and grateful, knowing that I’m truly blessed with this life, and current circumstances. The Book of Common Prayer says it this way, and this is the prayer of my heart currently: Almighty God… we bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ… and we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hears we may show forth our praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives…
May you and I be thankful for all the blessings of our lives, especially for those we have in Christ. May we soak in the blessing that is this life we have, and be aware of how precious each and every season is, not taking it for granted. And may we shower forth thanks and praise, not just by our words, but by the way we live our lives.
Image Header made under Creative Commons License Original Photo Take By:Vincenzo Visciano