Life is a gift, a wrapped present that we open bit by bit, day by day. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. It is a wonder and a blessing. However you were born, whatever you are doing with you life, step back and look with wonder at who you are, where you are located, who are your companions on this journey. Take a look at the earth around you—its beauty and variety, its vibrancy and aliveness. Look at your gifts and talents, yes, even your weak points, for these three along with your experiences, the people who have affected you in your life and the places where you have lived are the sum total of who you are.
Were you given born in wealth or poverty or in-between? Are you in a community or on your own? Which ethnic or racial group do you belong to? Do you love your work, your studies or are you plodding along? No matter, your life on this planet at this time is God’s gift to you! How are you using the gift? Does your life say what you want it to say? Or are you living someone else’s life? Do you not see or feel the gift of life? Are your senses alive or deadened? Are you running out to embrace what is or are you pushing life away?
Hear John O’Donohue: “Each new day is a path of wonder, a different invitation. Days are where our lives gradually become visible.” (To Bless the Space Between Us, p. 189). If we look at our lives as a gift, as a blessing, then we experience life in a wholly fresh, new way, with a sense of wonder and possibility and gratitude. The old Celts knew how to access this way of living and passed it on to us, if we will but listen. Each new day can be like a present to open, to see what this day will bring, to offer up and back to God.
Then having this sense of our lives—the events, people we meet and know, our families and all that happens to us as gift, we want to give back to the Giver all that we are in gratitude, in a deeply personal way. We want to extend the gift to others so that they, too, may live life as a gift. It is contagious, this way of being; it makes others think about the gifts in their lives; it calls all of us back to our true selves and to God.
Something to ponder: Do I look at my life as a gift from God and what I do with it as a gift back to God? Can I see how that would change how I live? Am I filled with gratitude?