AWARENESS by Arny DuPont
This year Doris and I took our vacation on the beach in
. Our son and daughter along with their
children accompanied us. Two of our
granddaughters are 3+ years old and the other granddaughter is 5+ years old. South Carolina
Throughout the week I would arise early and check the horizon for visibility. It was my intention to sit with my oldest granddaughter to watch the sunrise. Every day the sky was either foggy or it was raining and so I would return to bed.
Finally, on the last day of vacation, the sky was clear. I silently crept to my granddaughter’s bed and whispered to her that I was going to watch the sunrise and asked if she wished to join me. She sleepily said yes so I wrapped her in her blanket and went outside and sat with her as the sun prepared to begin its ascent. I pointed out the flickers of light that gave evidence to the coming event. My granddaughter momentarily raised her head, took a quick look, and then returned to her drowsy state.
I spent the time in prayer as I awaited the morning’s sunrise. As I prayed, I became aware of how there was nothing I could do to merit this event. The rising of the sun happened every day and I could not make it happen nor could I do anything to prevent its occurrence. I also realized that life would not continue without the sun and therefore its rising was very important to my life.
There is so much in my life that is similar to this, not the least of which is God’s love for me. There is nothing I can do to merit it and there is nothing I can do to prevent His love for me. And yet my life is so dependent on His love that it would cease to be without it.
As I prayed about this I thought that there were two things that I could do. First I could be aware of its occurrence and then I could express my gratitude and be thankful. But as I meditated on this, I came to see that even the awareness of these events in my life is a gift. I can not make myself aware no matter how hard I might try. Awareness itself is a gift and all I can do is to receive this gift also.
And so I finally realized that all I can do is to express my thankfulness and to be grateful. This is the most important and only action that I can take and is the essence of my relationship with Him. Yet there is so much of my life that is not aware of the gifts that He has given.
But now that He has given me this gift of awareness I can be thankful. And so, I thank you Father for the gifts you have given me; the gift of life, the gift of awareness, the gift of Your presence in my life, the gift of Your love, the gift of enabling me to love You in return, and the gift of the sunrise that I celebrate with my granddaughter.
(This article originally appeared in 1999.)