Do we see ourselves as somehow privileged? Is that our view of compartments of our lives?
The fact is, there are compartments of all our lives that sit abreast with conflict, yet shower us with the blessedness we too often take for granted.
This blessedness is choice; choice is privilege.
Only in a world created by a loving God would there be such a blessedness as choice; at least a part of our lives—and more significant than we realise—is correspondingly privileged.
Rarely do we reckon upon such privilege, though.
We’re so much more apt at noticing those instances of life where we’re anything but privileged; where life seems drudgery, and there is a lack of choice.
But most of life really is far more the other way. We have so much choice, even, that the matter of choice becomes some twisted form of drudgery, in that we’re forced to make a choice. Where we don’t make a choice, because we’re not disciplined enough, the very matter of making a choice forces our hand. Nobody likes to be forced.
So, even choice can be a pariah. Privilege can be turned into a nemesis.
Being Thankful Requires Discipline
If we agree it’s only right that we’re thankful for the enormous privilege it is to live our lives, for the plethora of choice we actually have, for instance, we ought to realise that only discipline actualises this blessing. Only where we exercise the option of choice—so it tends for us and not against us—are we doing things to enjoy choice and, therefore, prove more (or appropriately) thankful.
We can see, here, that the mere presentation of choice is not enough for us to enjoy the blessing of privilege. No, we must bring our virtue (our discipline to use it) to the virtue of life (the presence of choice and, therefore, privilege).
It pays to go onto the front foot; to live life affirmatively, not regressively—to take some control. Stagnation is regression. Only as we exercise our choice are we experiencing the privilege implicit through life.
Being thankful for the privilege bestowed to us in life is being mindful of the myriad choice within the compartments of our lives.
Only when we choose to live affirmatively will we reap more reward.
Life is a privilege; something we’ve been given. We’ve not earned it, yet we’ve got much choice in the living of it. These realities afford us the opportunity of thankfulness. But we only feel thankful when we exercise choice. Choice requires discipline. The disciplined life is the happiest of lives.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.