In this week when we ponder the eternal life won for us, I thought I’d share thoughts about our precious earthly life from a page in a book I’m currently writing: Saint Clare guided by St. Francis, founded the first Franciscan community for women. Today at the Poor Clare monastery in Assisi, visitors can view the corner of a room where Saint Clare died. Above the site is a plaque that reads, “Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.” What a perfect way to end one’s life—praising the God who made it all possible!
From all eternity God planned to bring each one of us into existence. He arranged the right two people to come together and provide the unique DNA that would make us who we are. More than that, our Creator sustains us. Every breath and every heartbeat are dependent on him. If God stopped thinking about us for a split second, there would be an empty seat where we are now.
Because we have the gift of life, we possess bodies that are able to do marvelous things. We can thrill to the sounds of music or the birds in spring, run with the wind blowing through our hair, swim in cool lakes, savor mouthwatering meals, enjoy the embraces of a loved one, play the piano or guitar, and read the thoughts of others in books or on ipads.
With our minds we have the joy of learning new things, not only algebra but how to cook and how to build a house. We are able to have the great satisfaction of creating something new: an adapted recipe, a song, a quilt, or artwork.
Because we are alive, the whole world is ours. We are free to explore the universe and stand in awe before its wonders like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and star-studded night skies. We can be astonished by its wide variety of plants from the lowly fern to the giant redwood, to say nothing of its animals like the exotic peacock, graceful deer, and our own dear pet.
Best of all, we are able to experience love in its many forms: the love of God, the love of our parents, the love of our spouse and our children, and the love of family and friends. We are also able to know the joy of loving others and expressing it in different ways.
It is only right that we pause from time to time to thank God for the tremendous blessing that is our life. How horrendous it is to deprive another person of this God-given gift.
What do you enjoy about being alive?