As Tim slammed on the brake inches before careening head on into the side of the vehicle, the van pulled back onto the left shoulder and they were spared the trauma of a head-on collision by a fraction of a second.
When they shared this story with me I was very grateful that they were okay, but it gave me pause. I thought about how quickly life can change, and how sometimes we can take for granted those whom we love the most. I also thought about how life is such a gift in all of its complexity, its ups and its downs. As my grandfather used to say when things went awry, tongue in cheek, “It only happens to the living.” Life is a gift we didn't earn; a gift given freely to us by God – the Author and giver of life.
Entitlement kicks gratitude for this life out the window. If I feel that I deserve something, or that I have the right to this or that, I will have a hard time absorbing the truth that so much of what is meaningful to me is a free unearned gift. Like the people in my life who are here today for me to simply cherish, love and appreciate. Like the air I breathe, the amazing beauty of the stars and changing leaves; the fact that there is beauty at all and that I can appreciate it, the intriguing truth that my world is comprehensible and that I can communicate and that love matters.
There is so much in life I can’t control. There is so much that could change in a moment, in a split-second. When I realize all this, I realize that I am entitled to nothing and that I am being called to be grateful to the Author and Giver of life for everything.
May we know the joy of being in fellowship with the One who makes living so rich and meaningful, and may we all be exceedingly grateful.