As we launch into a new year of study, teaching and growth in community—and in this season of Lent, when it is time to take stock, to name some regrets and to be deeply conscious of how God forgives and enables new beginnings—I am thinking about just how gifted I am. I don’t mean by that the usual idea of a ‘gifted person’, with exceptional talents and brilliant achievements. I mean simply that I, along with everyone else, have been given so many rich resources for living and loving, for working and growing, for being and belonging.
Back in July last year, I made this short post, under this same title:
After a conference of theologians and just now a morning meeting with colleagues at another college, I am so deeply grateful to belong to the wider community of the church: humble, wise, and caring people; many of us deeply sad that our communities have done so much wrong and harm, in the past, and passionately committed to justice, peace and reconciliation now and for the future. The Spirit of Jesus lives in and with us and invites us to a better way.
All that is true. But there’s even more. I am grateful for living in a democracy, even if it is at times less than it could be. I live in a comfortable home and enjoy fresh clean water, good food, reliable public transport, and so many things that make my life enjoyable and productive. I live with the love and care of my life partner and our wonderful children. Such riches.
Still more, I am invited to dream, to imagine even better things, with possibilities and the means to reach out for them. Such freedom and opportunity.
I affirm a grateful heart and a grateful mind—and a grateful body. I am five years on from my cancer surgery, and feel so well, so fit, so healthy. I will use my time, my abilities, my opportunities to serve God and God’s world. My mind and my heart, my body and my life are all gifts for which I am indeed thankful.