We have all heard the expression, "You don't really appreciate what you have until its gone." We have encountered this nugget of truth probably countless times and in varying forms. Despite our familiarity with the truth behind it, despite our understanding it in some very impactful and emotional moments, we still seem to fall short of learning the lesson it teaches.
Jesus spoke to this truth when dealing with the disbelief of the people from the region He grew up in, "But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house”' (Mark 6:4 NKJV). He recognized the fact that their familiarity with Him was blinding them to the reality and blessing that stood before them. We stand from afar and question how they could possible not see Him for who he was/is. Yet would we have been any different?
How many funeral services have we been to and questioned our own thoughts and behaviors regarding appreciating the time, the blessing, the words, the opportunities we have in life. It is often displayed in that deep reflection on our own mortality. Even worse is when we realize that we didn't appreciate and didn't take those opportunities with the person now laid at rest. Those realizations become so very real, and so incredibly vivid.
To an extent, we will never fully rise above these feelings, and may be that is good thing. It is a testimony to the positive impact of those around us, that we will never fully appreciate their impact, or our own for that matter, until it is placed in its full context. Funerals certainly provide those moments for us, whether we welcome them or not. What we can learn from these observations though is to be a bit more appreciative and thankful for what surrounds us.
May be the simplest and yet most impactful way to be more appreciative is just to say thank you. Not just thank you for a kind act or a caring gift, but thank you... for you. How often do we thank the people around us for being them, for being present, for being a part of our life? As often as we criticize, find fault, and even make disparaging comments? I offer this just as reflection and encouragement and I hope it is opportunity to share a more thankful and appreciative state of mind. You are worth it and those around are too.