One of my teachers this week asked the question, “What does it mean when someone says, ‘I take you for granted?'” Our responses were all the negative sense of the phrase:
- I have stopped noticing that you cleaned the house.
- I have stopped thanking you for having dinner ready when I arrive home.
- I have stopped appreciating the fact that you faithfully go to work every day to earn money to support our family.
- I have stopped noticing that you keep air in my tires.
He then pointed out that in one sense, taking someone for granted can be a positive thing:
- I trust that you will fix my lunch.
- I know you will be there to pick me up after school.
- I can count on you to pay the bills on time.
- I believe you when you say you still find me attractive – even when I’m wearing one of your old t-shirts and some sweat pants.
We definitely take certain things for granted:
- Waking up every morning.
- Indoor plumbing.
- A variety of churches.
- Electric lighting.
- Floors in our homes that aren’t made of dirt.
- Grocery stores and gas stations.
- The ability to further our education.
Some of these things seem so basic, yet not everyone enjoys them. I watched a disturbing movie last night, “Blood Diamond,” based on a true story. So disturbing, yet it is reality for a huge percentage of human beings on our planet. 1 Million people in one refuge camp. Disturbing.
Yet it is possible for us to be changed, to have our eyes opened. It is possible for us to become thankful “in all circumstances.” I’ve mentioned my friend, Suzy, before. She is my friend who was found to have a brain tumor one year ago today. In their latest post Barry wrote, “It has been a year of learning, changing, adapting, re-arranging, re-assessing and re-thinking. […] I will not take for granted the gift of life and breath every single day. Never, ever again will I take it for granted.” What they went through to get to this point . . .
So, be thankful if you have someone in your life that you CAN take for granted. And remember to “give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thess. 5:8)