[As the year comes to an end, I am listing a few of the things that happened during 2010 for which I am most thankful. The list is not in order of significance.]
As this year comes to an end I must give thanks to God for life and health, mine and my loved-ones. My family is blessed beyond measure. We do not live in perfect health and we have our fair share of challenges. But we have been blessed with life free from debilitating disease and chronic suffering. We are healthy.
I have lived long enough to understand that the disabled and infirmed may know more about life and appreciate life far beyond those of us without similar challenges. One thing I appreciate about those with whom I am close who suffer in their bodies is their lack of envy for the able bodied. Instead they seem to have special insight into the essence of life that allows them to appreciate their suffering.
They appreciate their suffering in that they have learned to value pain and disappointment as factors that contribute to the fullness of their lives. They refuse to allow their dis-abilities to define their existence or constrict their abilities. At the same time each of them desires to be healed of their physical limitations; they long to be free from pain.
The challenge is to fully appreciate life in whatever condition we find our health. Those who are healthy tend to take it for granted and in that they fail to fully live. Consequently, those who are healthy tend to be less thankful for their health than those who suffer.
Good health is a gift from God, not an inherent trait. It says nothing about our goodness or standing with God, the giver of life. I have concluded thankfulness is an essential component to having life in abundance. I am thankful for life and health, just not as thankful as I should be.
That’s the view from Cleveland
December 26, 2010