By Linda Grupp Boutin
Today a friend tagged me on Facebook. She said a particular video made her think of me (http://rawforbeauty.com/blog). I clicked on the link and enjoyed a belly laugh watching a video featuring this dog bounding through golden fields, jumping high in the air to clear the tall strands, disappearing again completely enclosed by the plants in the field. Considering I have a blog writing about my love of dogs and the antics of my basenjis, I can see the association she made with me. But I also must say that I envied that dog and his pure joy in life, leaping and jumping, celebrating all he saw around him.
I try every day to celebrate the joy in life because not a one of us has any guarantee that tomorrow will come. We take it for granted that we will have another day, and another, and another. But we all know that one day this life will come to an end. One time speaking with my 86-year-old father he told me that the first thing he did every day when he awoke was to thank God for keeping him safe and granting him another day. I took Dad's advice and try to remember to give thanks daily too. When we maintain an attitude of gratitude all that surrounds us takes on the aspect of a gift, which is exactly what all of life and what we have precisely is, a gift from God.
I love that a friend perceives me as a joyful creature. She knows many of the challenges I face with my health. These difficulties contribute to why I appreciate the day, no matter how tough it might be. Pain keeps me company, but so long as I keep busy I can keep it at bay until I go to sleep at night. Then as it tries to raise its ugliness and make me give up, I start to talk to God. Sometimes I can be eloquent with prayer, but when it's midnight pushing 2 a.m. more often I beg for His deliverance. Please Lord, just let me sleep. I know it will be better in the morning light...
And He does, and I rest, and in the morning I bound (sometimes) out of bed much as that dog flies through the fields. And each day when I can touch another life, in some small way or large, I know that every effort is worth it. Because in the doing, my life makes a difference. Today a young teen kept trying to ride his bike across the street. Being a busy Friday afternoon, all the drivers in their cars were too busy to stop and give the young man a chance to cross the street. I pulled up to the intersection slowly, came to a full stop and signaled him to safely cross. The cars going the opposite direction saw me stopped and gave him grace as well. I went on my way feeling like such a small thing can make another person's day, paying it forward in a simple sense.
So what about you, what do you need to celebrate with joy in your life? Health, wealth, a special friend, a cherished pet? Take that moment to give some thanks. There is no right or wrong way, just an opportunity to develop that attitude of gratitude. Embrace the moment and understand our interconnectedness and how that provides each of us the chance to encourage one another.