Blindsided by Gratitude

Springtime has hit Provo like a tidal wave. What looked like a barren campus (aside from the class breaks every hour) just weeks ago was today littered with students trying to soak up as much of the sun and warm air as possible. The weather channel claimed it was only 65 today, but in the sun it felt more like 80. It was beautiful. I, like so many others, couldn’t resist the grass and sunshine calling my name. I had grading to do, but figured I might as well do it outside.

I was still outside when the sun dropped behind the JFSB and was no longer embracing the courtyard. The wind picked up, and within about ten minutes, I was starting to shiver in the early evening chill. THAT moment was the one that bumped my gratitude lever up a notch. I packed up my backpack and walked over to the Talmage building, thinking about how lucky I am to be in a place as stunningly beautiful as Utah is, and also to have a place to go to escape the elements when they are no longer hospitable.

It was just a small thing, but it was an eye-opening moment for me as I thought about how many people in the world can’t say that about their own lives. I thought about my prayers, and how readily I utter thanks to my Father in Heaven for “all the blessings” that He has given me. That little word, “all,” isn’t little at all, though. It encompasses more than I could ever express, from the sun and the stars and the clouds and the snow and the general beauty of this world that I love, to the food in my cupboards, the blankets on my bed, the music in my head or my ears, the shoes on my feet and the clothes in my closet, the education I’m receiving, the family I adore, and friends who are so much better to me than I deserve, the dreams and passions and hopes and goals I have for the future, the bank account with my name on it, the inspiring examples that help me want to be better, the Gospel which has changed my life, the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ, the scriptures which teach me how I can be more like Him, and the knowledge that I have the potential to return to Him one day.

All these things that I overlook on a nearly daily basis, today I am taking the time to be very explicitly grateful for. My Heavenly Father has given me more than I could ever hope to deserve, the least I can do is acknowledge His eternal generosity and make the most of what I have been given.

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