Are you taking for granted what others pray for?
My wife, Judy and I spent a weekend in Ohio Amish country. It was a chance to get away and renew. It also meant we spent time in shops looking at an endless array of decorative items, although I’m sure there would be significant disagreement on the appropriate range for the term “decorative.”
I’ll admit it. I nearly cried while browsing a chocolate shop and looking at decorative items the owners hoped I would add to my purchase of edible treats.
There was a plaque that read: “What we take for granted, others are praying for.”
Thoughts About Taking For Granted What Others Pray For
I think the reason the plaque hit me was that Judy and I had the opportunity to take a day off work, stay in a beautiful location, and shop for things we don’t need while eating chocolate that we pretend to need.
I take for granted an endless supply of clean water. Highspeed Internet. The ability to walk through stores. The relationship with a woman who loves me for who I am despite who we both wish I might become. My freedom to pursue and express my faith – although less so today than in the past.
Somewhere in the world, probably not as far away as I might think, someone is praying for each of these things I take for granted. What are you taking for granted and how can you develop a pattern for identifying these items and expressing gratitude for each one?
Recognizing Your Larger World Will Lessen Taking For Granted What Others Pray For
How large is your world? My world is larger than it once was, but far smaller than it could be. Having traveled to Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, I’ve seen people who are praying for what I take for granted.
But closer to home, I often think about the police department I partnered with as a consultant, where I became more aware that there are men and women who get up each day to deal with things I know little about. They protect my innocence by dealing with situations that, to me, are unimaginable.
Do you know people who pray for what you take for granted? If not, you are probably insulated against recognizing what you take for granted. If everyone you know has clean water, highspeed Internet, mobility, reasonably healthy relationships, and freedom of religion, then you may not have been made aware that you are among a tiny percentage of humans who have all of these blessings and more.
Gratefulness Will Lessen Taking For Granted What Others Pray For
I didn’t cry openly in the chocolate store. But I could have if I had allowed myself to think more deeply about people I’ve seen and known who pray for what I take for granted. In a world that emphasizes what we don’t and cannot have, let’s marvel and give thanks for what we do have.
Let’s recognize that we are blessed in ways we did not earn and do not deserve more than any other inhabitant of this planet. Yes, you worked hard, but you have a body and mind that function apart from disability. You earned that degree and that job. But you live in a world where you were able to move beyond survival to study and seek employment. And you made wise choices. But they were easier to make in a stable, relatively healthy environment.
Get to know a person praying for what you take for granted. Share what you take for granted. Don’t despise the person who prays for what you take for granted. “Enlarge your world and love your neighbor.” Seems I’ve heard that somewhere before. It might even make a good plaque for Amish country.
About Julian Consulting
Dr. Stephen Julian is President of Julian Consulting, a firm specializing in team health, effective communication, and leadership development. He has worked with leaders and their teams for nearly 30 years in a variety of settings – including Africa, South and Central America.
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