While the sorrow of death points me toward the hope of heaven, it also leads me to be grateful for the gift of today.
Earlier this summer during my recovery from surgery, I read the fascinating and convicting book Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent. It's an incredible, true story of a upper class couple and their relationship with a homeless man (I should actually do a separate review on this book-- it totally deserves it and I definitely recommend it!).
In the book, one of the homeless men at the shelter where the Halls volunteer shares the reason for his good mood: "I woke up," he says with a smile. The Hall couple then begins the tradition each morning of being grateful they woke up, of taking a moment to appreciate being alive another day.
It's such a simple thing. To wake up in the morning.
But when you really think about it...
It's a miracle.
None of us are guaranteed another day when we go to sleep at night. When we wake to a new day, it's truly a gift.
I've begun to make this a habit of being grateful that "I woke up" in the mornings. It's amazing how a day can look so different with this perspective. Instead of grumbling, thoughts of to-do lists, and worries, there's a joy and a delight in simply being alive for another day. An awe and a gratitude for a fresh, blank slate on which to write the day.
Try it with me. Tomorrow morning, receive the 'gift of today.' Be thankful you woke up.
Then give a gift back to God by the way you live your day.