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Things We Take for Granted

Your heart will beat 100,000 times today!

Paula Bolyard


November 28, 2013 - 8:00 am
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Yesterday I missed being crunched in the middle of this sandwich of cars by ten seconds. I was at the front of the line waiting to turn left when the pile-up happened. I glanced into my rearview mirror before making my turn and couldn’t quite comprehend what I was seeing — a car perched almost vertically atop another. The airbag in the blue car did not engage and although he was able to climb out of it, the driver was extremely disoriented. He kept asking where he was and wondering where he had been heading. I convinced him to hand me his cell phone because his incoherent rambling was surely terrifying his wife on the other end. I explained to her what had happened as paramedics loaded him into the EMS unit. After examining him, the paramedic shouted to his partner that they needed to go — immediately.

Though I wasn’t involved in the accident myself, I realized after I got home that I was feeling a bit shaken by the ordeal. In moments like that, one gets a clear view of how fleeting life is and how quickly it can end. I don’t worry about that — as a Christian, I’m sure that the moment I die I will be “at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). But the accident reminded me how seldom I’m thankful for God’s mercies that are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Obviously, I’m very thankful that I wasn’t hurt in the accident. And I’m thankful my son wasn’t injured when his car slid off the road in the snowstorm on Tuesday. And I’m thankful that a dear friend left work to help the coatless boys who had also managed to lock the keys in the car.

But beyond that, I take a lot for granted. Breathing, for example. When I stop to contemplate that my lungs inflate and deflate and do their oxygenating business without me ever having to consciously think about it, I am speechless. They just go in and out and in and out day after day after day, despite the fact that I barely ever think about my breathing. By decree of the God who knows the number of hairs on my head I will draw 17,280 breaths today, even though I rarely ever thank Him for his goodness.

And my hands. I’m staring at them now as I type and I consider my fine motor skills. I can feel my yellow lab’s smooth fur when he puts his head on my lap. They were stiff and freezing at the scene of the accident as the blood vessels constricted so that blood (and oxygen) could be diverted away from my extremities to my vital organs to keep my body alive in case I was stranded out in the frigid weather for an extended period of time. Awesome (awe·some – adjective: causing feelings of fear and wonder : causing feelings of awe).

I think about my sons, those two precious little boys that I rocked and changed and cuddled just a few minutes ago. At least it seems like it was a few minutes ago. Somehow, they’ve grown into these big, hairy men celebrating No Shave November. Somehow, they survived their childhood with imperfect parents and, by God’s grace, avoided most of the mistakes we made when we were their age. What a miracle to watch them growing in their faith, despite the frailties of their parents. 

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All Comments   (8)
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my neighbor's sister-in-law makes $84 hourly on the computer. She has been out of work for eight months but last month her pay check was $12581 just working on the computer for a few hours. straight from the source...........
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
No god is required to feel thankful for life.

"I don’t worry about that — as a Christian, I’m sure that the moment I die I will be “at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8)."

Why, then, does this life matter at all to you? It does, I bet. Which leads me to conclude that, yes you do worry because deep down inside, you're not all that sure as you purport to be.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's how the apostle Paul explained it: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account" (Philippians 1:21-24, ESV).

The Bible teaches that a Christian's purpose -- for lack of a better word -- on earth is to glorify God. Though we look forward to heaven, we make the most of our time on earth out of love and gratitude for what Christ has done for us.

The father of one of our dearest friends is in his 80's and has been caring for his wife with Alzheimer's at home for more than 10 years. He feeds her, changes her, brushes her teeth -- provides for all her needs. He longs for heaven but cheerfully trusts God to help him through his remaining days and the very difficult challenges in his life.

It doesn't have to be either/or -- it can be both/and.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for this column. I always find your columns worthy of my time & always give me something to think about. Happy Thanksgiving Paula!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The other night as we were driving home, I remarked to my husband how beautiful the stars were on the cold, clear Ohio night. I wish I had thought to praise the Creator who blessed us with the work of His fingers, the moon and the stars, which He has set in place (Psalm 8)."

One of Zenna Henderson's sci-fi stories concerned a little alien girl from another planet. Her family had traveled to Earth to live here, and they had enrolled their little daughter in one of our elementary schools.

One of the human girls got up the courage to ask the alien girl:

"Why do you have so many eyes???"

The alien girl replied:

"I dunno. Why do you only have two?"

The human girl said:

"Well, my daddy said God made me this way."

The alien girl replied:

"My daddy said God made me this way too."

Happy Thanksgiving (belatedly)!
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42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" Thank you for expressing your gratitude. It passes strength to all of us and helps us to thank Him as well. Have a great Thanksgiving!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
A Happy Thanksgiving to you too.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Off Topic

to all the Authors and the Readers at PJM
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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