The critical thing when it comes to life

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By Dave Henning / January 27, 2020

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”- G. K. Chesterton

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”- 3 John 1:2 (NIV)

In Chapter 8(“Living in Wide-Eyed Wonder”) of Double Blessing, Mark Batterson opens with the saga of Voyager I.  Launched on September 5, 1977, Voyager I will have traveled more that fifteen billion miles when it runs out of gas in 2025.  But, if you stretched the DNA strand in your body end to end, that strand would be more than twice that fifteen billion miles!

Above all, according to one estimate, thirty-seven sextillion chemical reactions taking place in the human body at any given time.  Of course, Pastor Batterson  stresses, this fact stands as a tribute – not to you, but to the God who made you.  Hence, as G. K Chesterton once wrote, his ultimate life goal focused on taking nothing for granted:

“Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace.”

However, over time, we find it easy to forget our favorite things, to take them for granted.  With a spirit of gratitude, though, we learn to appreciate those things even more.  In addition, Mark describes specific attitudes that block worship:

“Cynicism sucks the mysterious out of the mundane, while skepticism sucks the miraculous out of it.  And the soul suffers.  Worship does the exact opposite.  Living in wide-eyed wonder is recapturing our childlike curiosity.  It’s seeing the mystery and the miracle in every simple moment.  ‘Worship is transcendent wonder,’ said the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle.  ‘Wonder for which there is now no limit or measure; that is worship.’ ”

For example, Pastor Batterson asks, did you know that:

  • whale sounds can travel up to ten thousand miles under water?
  • Eastern meadowlarks sing up to one hundred songs?
  • the electron shell of the carbon atom produces the same harmonic scale as Gregorian chant?

Today’s question: What do you see as the critical thing when it comes to life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Gratitude challenge – mindfulness required”

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Dave Henning

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