[originally published on November 27, 2014]
I heard a fantastic quote about human beings the other day:
we are clever, but we forget.
That's exactly what we do. As a species, we figured out how the planets move around the sun, but I still ask for the date in class. As Americans, we live in a country with plenty of available food and shelter, plus resources for the sick. And yet, we need a day to remember that we are fortunate.
We need a day to remember that things were not always like this.
To remember that tomorrow is never promised to anyone.
To remember that many don't live like we do even now.
To remember that what we have is a gift.
To remember who to thank.
This is a different sunset, same feeling.
I remember I was driving home from UHMC one day, and there was an absolutely stunning sunset. I mean, this was on Maui, so many sunsets are stunning. It's almost normal to see something postcard-worthy on your drive home, and then to complain about the traffic. But I have always been a huge fan of sunsets, and this one was impressive. I remember saying to myself, "I'm glad I have a God, because I have someone to thank for this."
Another time, I was watching two little girls at sunset, so we watched all the clouds change colors.
And there are countless sunsets I missed, that I wasn't grateful for.
If you aren't religious, that's not the entire point of this post, and I do respect your position. Still, for me, I need to remember that I say I believe there is an actual Person listening to me and who wants to talk with me. If I say I believe in a God that wants to talk with me, who loves me, and who longs to be loved by me as well, and I say I do love Him, perhaps I should spend a little more time every day thanking Him. I mean, seriously.
This also applies to my parents, to friends, to teachers, to everyone who has given to me in a way I can't pay back.
I can't paint God a sunset.
But... I can say "thank you." I can mean it, and I need to do so. That's what I believe in.
And when I forget, and finals/final papers are looming, things aren't going the way I wish they were, I have a day to remember to say "Thank You."