Appreciating Life

KestrelTony Evan’s book Praying Through the Names of God touched me deeply this morning. “Your life extends into mine, giving me the opportunity to experience your creation. . . Forgive me for not treasuring and taking care of the gift of life you have given to me (p  35).”

I was caught by the image of God’s life extending into mine. Without losing the truth of God’s transcendence, we must remember that our life is connected directly to God’s — first through creation, second through salvation. God extends physical life and spiritual life and I am the recipient. But Tony’s phrasing also carries the implication that God wants me to participate in the Spirit’s life.

I was challenged by the confession in the prayer: I have not appreciated the life that God has given me. Whenever we encounter struggle, we are tempted to resent life, or to want to escape life’s reality. Tony’s prayer challenges me to thank God for his gift, even when the gift is wrapped in stress, sorrow or pain. God chose to extend his life into mine, and this gives my life meaning and value. As I claim that meaning and value, I experience hope.

If God is the source of all life, then I have a kinship to the created world around me. I’m not thinking of this in pantheistic way, but it the sense of being grateful for the life I see God giving the plants and animals around me.

Thank you God, for sparking my existence with your Spirit, and for filling my day with your Spirit.

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