As I shut off the lights in my house and headed to bed this evening, I was, for reasons I don't understand, overwhelmed by an uncommon sense of gratitude for what I have. I felt strangely free, not to compare my situation in life to anyone else's... to judge what I had or had not by some aggregate of what others have... but for a brief miraculous moment, to see everything as a blessing... a gift from God.
For that moment... for the first time that I can recall... I could have truly rejoiced in seeing God take everything away...because in that moment I was struck by the absurdity of selfishness... in striving to hold onto things that won't last, and aren't even mine to begin with. It's like trying to capture the awe of a sunset or vanishing cloud or a rainbow in a photograph.
Does God get angry about my ingratitude, or does He instead weep for me, for all the bounty of life that I fail to experience? Whose is the loss when I fail to recognize blessings in my life?
I realized for one moment tonight that the tragedy doesn't take place when the blessings end or pass. The sun sets, the clouds change, the rainbow vanishes. The tragedy is in trying to preserve them and, in so doing, missing the fact that they were ever there to begin with.