Excerpt from Check Your Oil for The Farmville Enterprise.
How many times have you heard “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”? You don’t know what you’ve got until a relationship ends, a moment is lost, or a freedom is taken away.
A woman suffering with cancer, who lost her ability to perform even the most mundane tasks, once told me: “It is amazing how much we take for granted every day. Oh, how I would give anything in the world to be able to get up out of this bed, walk into my kitchen and just pour me a bowl of Froot Loops.” She went on, “When I was healthy, when I could get out of bed and walk to the kitchen, when I could feed myself, when I could chew and swallow my food, I don’t believe I ever thanked God for something as boring as a bowl of Froot Loops.”
Who in the world even thinks about the awesome gift of being able to do something as mundane and as boring as pouring a bowl of Froot Loops? Someone who can longer pour a bowl of Froot Loops thinks about it.
Who in the world thinks about the miraculous gift of being able to walk? Someone who has lost the ability to walk.
Who in the world thinks about the gift of healthy lungs? Someone living with COPD.
Who in the world thinks about their kidneys or their liver? Someone on the way to a dialysis thinks about their kidneys. Someone living or dying with cirrhosis thinks about their liver.
And who in the world the world truly thinks about the miracle that is their life, the miracle that is this creation? People diagnosed with a terminal illness do. Those who have recently lost a loved one to death do.
In one of his parables, Jesus said that some foolish bridesmaids missed the whole dance, because they forgot to fill their lamps with oil and did not see the bridegroom when he showed up. Jesus ended the parable with the admonishment: “keep awake” (Matthew 25).
Keep awake. Check your oil. Keep your lamp burning. Don’t miss the dance. Keep watching and keep looking, recognizing that we are never promised tomorrow. Take nothing for granted. Don’t wait until it’s gone to know what you’ve got. Treasure your lungs, your kidneys, and your liver. Cherish the ability to walk into the kitchen and pour something as mundane and boring as a bowl of Froot Loops. Relish every taste in creation. Revere every sight and every touch in this world. For in life, nothing is ever mundane. It is never boring. It is all miracle. It is all gift. It is all grace.