There, but for Grace

In yesterday’s post, I made the observation “We get caught up in going through the motions and redundancies of life.”

Today, when I plugged in my headphones and hit shuffle on my ipod, one of my favorite songs, Keith Urban’s “But for the Grace of God“came on.  (I know not everyone likes country music, but I do, and the words to this song always make me smile.)  It seemed serendipitious that I had those thoughts last night and the song came on today.  Although in the song, he is singing about how lucky he feels to have found the love of his life, it always makes me think far beyond the limited scope of those relationships.

I grew up hearing the phrase, “there but for the grace of God go I”.  It was used by people from my grandmothers to my preacher, a lot of people in my life using similar phrases to describe how lucky we/they were be in a better situation than someone who was having a hard time in their lives.  The phrase has always had a special meaning for me.   Recitation of it was my way of giving thanks for the wonderous gifts that had been bestowed on me by my Higher Power.  Those of you who know me well know that I have a deep faith. (The rest of you can be appropriately surprised at this point.)   I’m not a religious person by anyone’s imagination, but I have a Faith that runs ocean deep and wide.  While not everyone carries the same beliefs or faith, none of us can dismiss that there are times we are faced with the certainty that our personal situations are infinitely better than others around us.  We walk by the homeless person on the street, we watch the news and see the poverty and devastation in other parts of the world, we listen to the story of the child that lost his only parent in a drive by shooting.  All of these things should give us pause instead of melding into our “going through the motions… of life”.   Our instant and constant access to information makes it easier to allow the images and words to occasionally flit across our conscience without deep absorption.

While I like to think that Thankfulness is a constant state for me, there are times that I feel the grace more poignantly than other times.  For example, being bi-polar, I know all too well the depths that a mental illness can take us to, physically, emotionally and financially.   All too often I am reminded how incredibly fortunate I am to have my mental illness easily managed. There are so many who do not have the resources, love and support to allow them to lead “normal” lives.   I remember daily that grace has allowed me to lead a life, that may not always be easy, but it is often full of love, laughter and happiness.

I know that not everyone is going to agree with me about a higher power having a hand in giving us better circumstances.  And that is OK with me, we all have the right to our own beliefs.  It is more important to me that we recognize our better circumstances, feel the appropriate empathy and take action.  That we not get so caught up in the living of our everyday lives that we lose sight of those less fortunate than ourselves.  That we, in whatever way fits in with our personal beliefs, remember “There, But For Grace, Go I”.

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