Cochabamba, Bolivia

Cochabamba, Bolivia
Cochabamba, Bolivia

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another year coming to a close...

I woke up the other morning and heard the most beautiful song bird outside my bedroom window.  I just lay there for awhile and honestly marveled at how beautiful the music was coming out of such a small animal.  Later in the morning I was listening to the joyful laughter of children as they played stick ball in the street outside my house.  The parents and older siblings were nearby commenting on each hit and settling any discussions about whether someone was really out or not.  It didn't take me long to realize that these very simple things are real blessings in my life.  Beautiful music, children's laughter and the peace of knowing that things are going to be ok.  That's been happening a lot to me lately.  I've been recognizing how incredibly blessed I am by lots of simple joys in life.

For one, I live on this beautiful island where a cold day is a day less than 80 degrees!  And I am continually amazed by the color around me...greens in every shade, bright oranges and reds and yellows with the bluest of skies and oceans all around.  Who would have thought color could be a blessing?  I guess you realize it when it's not there.  I imagine all of the folks who have lost their sight or those who have failing vision would give a lot to see those amazing colors once again.  And what about the sounds?  Those who have lost their hearing and now live in a complete silence must long for the days when they could distinguish the different notes of a song or hear the rolling waves of an ocean.

A few years ago I preached a sermon at the Maranatha Baptist Church here in La Romana.  I had just lost my mother (8 years ago this month, actually) and I was trying to hold onto the things I knew to be true so that sadness and grief wouldn't overwhelm me.  I remember that I wanted people to cherish the things that they had in life, friends, health, jobs, a home, etc. because no one could predict when those things would disappear.  God has blessed each of our lives in amazing and wonderful ways that can become so commonplace that we tend to ignore the blessing until it's gone and then we realize we never thanked Him for it.

What do you need to be thankful for today?  A good friend?  A spouse?  A roof over your head?  Your health?  Do it now!  Tell the people in your life how much you love them.  Take a walk outside and marvel at the blessing of nature around you.  Call a loved one and enjoy the sound of their voice.  There's a saying here in the DR that goes something like, "I'll get to it tomorrow."  When someone says that, I always want to reply, "But tomorrow never comes..."  We have today.  Live it, love it and thank God for what you have!

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