What did you "take for granted" even just a few short weeks ago?
Many phrases and sayings like this - I've had to clarify with my children somewhere along the way. The most entertaining is since they are now adults, hearing what they thought something meant, and how they messed up the meaning and used it in the wrong way at some point. Teaching a child, or an adult for that matter, to appreciate something or someone in the moment is about as complicated as explaining love, grace, forgiveness, empathy, honor, respect, etc. Its an important lesson and it takes time.
Since finding my faith and maturing in it, I've made an effort to be thankful, grateful and appreciative. I didn't understand this as a child. Colossians 4:2 says Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And 3:15 says Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace. And be thankful.
This current health crisis/global pandemic has me and my closest friends lamenting over the small and large things we took for granted. It's interesting how something like this puts into perspective what is really important. We've been quarantined at home, like many others, and with all members of our immediate family. My daughters, who for many years were at dance and music lessons during the traditional family dinner hour as they were growing up, have been a little alarmed at the emphasis on dinner time in our house right now. Yet, gathering for a meal is a tradition across time and many cultures and an act that feels familiar and comforting to us. If anything, for us right now, it brings us together from where we've scattered in the house, so we grab food, reconnect, watch the news or a movie or just hang out and play with the dog and baby.
I've known all along, going through our day to day lives, in my mind, to compare the freedoms we have, to somewhere else - where we couldn't do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.
This virus and the way it's brought every day life to a screeching halt has made many of us think about what “was”, and the “way things used to be”. We wonder what will *never* be the same again? The future is uncertain and the pain and sorrow this has caused is something I never dreamed. It has humbled me even more. I don't think the list of things I'm realizing that I took for granted will end any time soon. The most powerful ones aren't even about me, it's about others, their sacrifices, what they didn't really "sign up for" when they took a certain job or entered a specific career field.
I'm also remembering the things I'm thankful for, good and happy memories. Some I pray we will get to enjoy again! I've also read about changes that might be good for the future! (the first good one I heard a few weeks ago was for those now working at home "so now we know that 3 hour meeting could have been handled over a few emails"??). Fortunately my husband is able to work from home for a while. It's a dynamic he has to adapt to, but the stress of the drive in traffic, the ease of a step outside or playing with the dog a few minutes are all positives he doesn't experience in an office. But he misses the camaraderie with his co workers, the idea sharing and in person discussion, a shared lunch, a quiet office to just think and plan. There are advantages to both.
I told my daughter today to think 10 years or so from now, when she hears one of her favorite songs she's listening to now, it will remind her of these days. I know things will be drastically different then, but I hope she remembers the lesson we are all learning, young and old of how easy it is to take things for granted and remember to be thankful in the moment and thankful for all things.
What specific things have you realized you really took for granted before all this? It can be something large or small or in between? I'd love to hear your thoughts!