The Thing We Take For Granted

16 Oct

I try to be conscious of the blessings in my life, not wanting to take for granted gifts such as family, friends, GOD, employment, food to eat, my beautiful home. My list is virtually endless. One gift I rarely think about , and truly do take for granted, is the gift of where I live.

I’m not just talking about Chattanooga (which is a beautiful city) or Tennessee (which is a state I love) or even the South (which is where my heart is at home). I’m talking about America – this country with so many problems we couldn’t possibly fix them all in my lifetime. This country where we enjoy – and take for granted daily the freedoms we are privileged to have.

{source: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images}

I recently read about Malala Yousufzai, the precious 14 year old Pakistani girl, shown above, who was shot in the head last week while riding the school bus by the taliban simply because she supports and speaks out in favor of education for girls.

Isn’t she beautiful? She was shot while she road the school bus! Can you imagine if that had happened to one of our children?

When I was young, I never wanted to ride the school bus. In fact, I got in some hot water as a teenager for lying to my mom about riding the bus when I actually rode to school with a friend instead. But that’s a story for another day! {grin} But I never feared for my life while riding a school bus and I’m struck by how very different my life is from Malala’s, especially how different my life was from hers when I was 14.

I’ve never had to wear a veil or hide my face, my hair, or my body.

I’ve never was made to feel ashamed because I was a girl.

I’ve never doubted whether I could get an education.

I’ve never had restrictions placed on me by the men in my life (except when I was 8 and got in trouble for lying to my teacher – then I got restricted from everything by my Dad – but I deserved it – and that is also a story for another day! {grin}).

I’ve never had someone attempt to take my life because of my opinions.

I’ve never worried about having access to good medical care.

I’ve never feared for my safety because of my religious beliefs.

I’ve never worried where my next meal would come from.

I’ve never lived in a place where physical violence could come walking down my street at any moment.

I’ve also never had to be brave enough to speak out for something I strongly believe in knowing my life could be in danger because I did so.

I’ve also never truly appreciated the freedoms of voting, having a voice in society, and living in a {somewhat messed up, but blessed} democracy.

I bet you could come up with a list of differences of your own. If you are reading this, you are blessed to have the freedom, physical & mental ability, and means to do so. If you are reading this, chances are very good that your life is not in danger. If you are a girl and are reading this, you most likely have received at least a high school education or better. There are girls and women in places like Pakistan who are denied what should be the most fundamental of rights.

Let’s try our best not to take for granted the gift of where we live. Even if you do not live in the United States (and I know some of you fun, wonderful readers live in all kinds of fabulous places around the world!), you live in a society full of freedoms, rights, and privileges. Let’s also not forget those who do not get to experience the joy of going to school (yes, it’s a joy!), worshipping in the church of their choice, or even walking down the street with their heads uncovered.

Will you pray this prayer with me today?

Lord, thank you for the blessings you lavish on us. May we never, ever take a single one for granted. We ask you to heal this sweet child, Malala Yousufzai. Thank you for the doctors, surgeons, and volunteers who have come to her aid in the United Kingdom, for the flight crew from the United Arab Emerites who flew her to safety, and all of those who are doing their very best to restore her body to health. Guide them all, help them to make wise decisions, and protect them as they treat her. Malala is a brave little girl. Please give her more strength, more courage, and more determination to push through this battle her body is not facing. And most of all, Father, please make Your presence known to her, comfort her, and let her know that you are there with her so that she senses she is not alone. Give the families in Pakistan the courage to continue to send their children to school and protect each and every child from the evil taliban forces.

If you would like to read more about Malala’s experience, here’s a story on ABC News.

 Rachel

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2 Responses to “The Thing We Take For Granted”

  1. bornbyariver October 16, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    So well put! Our world is full of tragedy, yet also opportunity for us to be grateful.

    • rachturner October 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      You – of all people – know the kind of pain I’m talking about. You encouragement me continually as you walk through your grief.

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