We humans can be so oblivious to our dependence upon others. “I am master of my own destiny” and “If you want something done right, do it yourself” are words of a foolish person, unaware of just how much he or she truly relies on others.
Even with something as simple as sleeping, I am dependent on what others have done:
- My husband who built the bed frame; the one who harvested and prepared the oak wood so that it could be used
- Those who gave us a mattress as a wedding gift
- Those who grew and harvested the cotton in our sheets; the inventors and technicians who made the weaving of cloth more efficient
- The one who skillfully sewed our “tumbling blocks”quilt
When we take this one step further, we can see that behind all of our human doings is the hand of God, who gives the ability to learn, build, harvest, live and breathe. His creation contains all we need to thrive. Every good thing is a gift “from His Fatherly hand.”*
Spiritual giants have helped guide me into the practice of keeping track of God’s gifts and blessings. Some of these are my two grandmothers, my parents, Rev. Bernard DeJong and, most recently, Ann Voskamp whose book One Thousand Gifts has refreshed me.
A few of the blessings from God that I have recorded lately include:
- Telephone technology to talk to people who live far away
- Chocolate milk in a mug
- An umbrella for walking in the rain
- Eyes to see the grass turning green
- Observing my three children play LEGO without arguing
- A pair of mallards swimming in a large, temporary puddle near my house.
*From the Heidelberg Catechism, Question and Answer 27. The entire Q and A is quoted in my March 19, 2012 post entitled “Providence Defined.”