One of the great tragedies in life is that it often takes loss to provoke appreciation. That's why near death experiences can be so life changing. As the old saying goes, "You don't know what you got until it's gone." But it doesn't have to be that way. God gives us a greater capacity to appreciate people and blessings and things while they're still here... before they're gone. The secret actually lies within the very definition of "Thankfulness". It's a very bland, but profound definition. Thankfulness is the awareness and appreciation of benefits received. Did you catch that? Thankfulness stems from AWARENESS of BENEFITS RECEIVED. The reason that so many people have to lose something of value before they really appreciate its value is because, now that they no longer have it, they've become AWARE of just how valuable that person or blessing was. Then the sadness and regrets set in: "If I would have only REALIZED then I would have..." It doesn't have to be that way. Loss doesn't have to be the only way that we become AWARE of BENEFITS RECEIVED. Look around you. SEE the benefits that you've already received from God. Use your imagination and think about how your life would be adversely altered if certain people or benefits were forever gone. Don't wait until it's too late to relish special moments with friends and family. Don't wait until it's too late to say the words that are deep in your heart. Don't wait till your health is gone to wish you had seized the day. Don't miss out on all the benefits that are already in your life because petty distractions numb your God-given capacity to be AWARE. Be more then a bag of skin collecting a lifetime of regrets. Be fearlessly aware. Express appreciation, love, and thankfulness to God and others regularly. And in so doing, be fully alive!
"I thank my God every time I remember you." - Phil 1:3
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18