The very popular former TV star Mary Tyler Moore was admired, people say, not only for her professional accomplishments, but also for the way she coped with a series of personal tragedies. Her sister died in 1978. A year later she lost her only son, Richard, at age 24. Then her brother succumbed to kidney cancer. This was followed by the death of her mother.
As if these traumatic experiences were not enough to defeat anyone, Mary Tyler Moore battled diabetes since she was in her twenties. This courageous survivor said that “the pain is just as intense as it is for someone who gives up and gives in”. “I appreciate the pain; it makes me more sensitive and responsive”, she continued. “I don’t take tomorrow for granted, because it simply may not be there.”
Taking Life for Granted
Do you take things for granted? Life, and everything we are given, everything we have, should be appreciated and not taken for granted. It’s an obvious statement, but I think we still need to acknowledge that fact. People today take a lot of things for granted, such as technology, money, opportunities and life itself.
Helen Keller contracted an illness at 18 months of age. She lost her sight and was also deaf. But that didn’t stop her from becoming a champion for others around the world. She wrote many books and in January 1933, in a piece titled “Three Days to See”, she wrote:
Sometimes I have thought that it would be an excellent rule to live each day as if we should die tomorrow. Such an attitude would emphasise sharply the values of life. We should live each day with a gentleness, a vigour and a keenness of appreciation which are often lost when time stretches before us in the constant panorama of more days and months and years to come. There are those of course, who would adopt the motto of ‘eat, drink and be merry’, but most people would be chastened by the certainty of impending death.
…Most of us, however, take life for granted. We know that one day we must die, but usually we picture that day as far in the future. When we are in buoyant health, death is all but unimaginable. We seldom think of it. The days stretch out into an endless vista. So we go about our petty tasks, hardly aware of our listless attitude towards life.
…I have often thought that it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during their early adult life. Darkness would make them more appreciative of sight; silence would teach them the joys of sound.
Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by
…Recently I was visited by a very good friend who had just returned from a long walk in the woods and I asked her what she had observed. “Nothing in particular”, she replied. I might have been incredulous had I not been accustomed to such responses, for long ago I became convinced that the seeing see little.
Enjoying God’s Gift of Life
True! We know in the Bible it says in Ecclesiastes 11:7–9:
It is good to be alive. Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the gift of the morning sun. Don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour. Even if you live to be a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day because you will die and then darkness will come and it will last a long time (you will be dead much longer than you were alive). And after you are dead you cannot do anything. So, enjoy life while you are young.
Be cheerful and happy and relish your youthful vigour. Follow your impulses and do whatever your heart leads you to do. Do whatever you want and find pleasure in what you see. But don’t forget that God will judge you and you will have to answer to God and give an account for everything you do in your life.
Are you enjoying each day God gave you?
So my questions today are:
- Am I enjoying each day God has given me?
- Am I loving him? Am I loving others? Am I loving my life?
- Am I doing something with this life I have been blessed with?
- Am I following my heart, pursuing my dreams and finding pleasure in my life?
- Am I influencing my world? Am I making a difference?
- Or, am I taking all of this for granted?
Author Francis Chan says that “nothing you do in this life will ever matter unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made.” I think it’s hard to love your life if you don’t love God and you don’t love people. Someone I know once said, tongue in cheek, “I love life, but it’s people I can’t stand.” You probably know what he meant. Others have a habit of getting in our way and annoying us.
But it was Jesus who said the first and greatest commandment is, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second commandment is this: Love your neighbour as yourself.”