We had an unexpected visitor in our home this past weekend! If I told you I got to meet the fastest man in the world's massage therapist, would you believe me? It's true. For you sports junkies, Usain Bolt's name should ring a bell. For those that don't know, he is, literally, the fastest runner on earth! On Saturday, one of my close friends brought by a buddy of his that he met on a mission trip in Jamaica - meet my friend, Marland!
From the moment Scott and I met Marland, we knew he was a special guy. We clicked right away and loved hearing about his experiences here in the U.S. You know how cold it was this weekend. Let's just say a Jamaican is cold when it's 70 degrees. We bundled him up in a down jacket and hat before we took him outside to run and play soccer with our son! We had a blast and are so thankful we had the opportunity to meet him. Marland works with tons of Jamaican athletes; it was so interesting to listen to his stories!
I asked him what were some of the things he was surprised at after spending time here. One thing I wasn't expecting was his comment about how smooth the roads are here. Instantly I thought about how often I hear people complain about potholes in roads and how uneven many roads are, but to him, they're anything but in bad shape. Matt, our close friend who brought him by, also said Marland made a comment about how there was never a point when he was hungry while visiting. When he arrived, I'd just gotten back from getting bags of groceries from the store. A little humbling moment, eh?
The whole experience, coupled with the month of November and its theme of thankfulness, got me thinking. What are things I take for granted that I should be more thankful for? Here's the start of my list:
1. I'm thankful for a house with heat and air conditioning and a roof over my head.
2. I'm thankful for a clean city to live in.
3. I'm thankful for grocery stores available to me at any time of the day.
4. I'm thankful for a school filled with technology, even if it's not the absolute best.
5. I'm thankful for the ability to freely choose what I want to do with my life.
6. I'm thankful for my students who constantly complain about how "boring" school is. They don't know what it's like to live in a country where school isn't available for all children. They don't know what it's like to go to school in a school with dirt floors and no air conditioning or heat. They don't know what it's like to go to school in a place where no technology is available to them. They don't know what it's like to go to school in a place where only certain types of students have the opportunity to learn. Most middle school students in America complain about school, and even though it drives me crazy when they do this, maybe I'm truly thankful for it - because they don't even have the opportunity to know the difference.
Look around and think about it for yourself. What are at least three things (I'd love you to think of more!) you know you take for granted? Do not merely list them. After each thing you list, EXPLAIN what you mean. How do you take those things for granted? What should you do in your own life to make sure you realize the importance of those things each and every day?