On morrow next, many of us shalt gather with people special to us and impart gratitude for the important gifts any person able to impart gratitude certainly has been given. Counting our blessings is a widely-practiced, longstanding tradition, so you’d think we’d run out of things to be thankful for after a few decades of turkey days. Not so of course, partly because we typically stop counting shortly after succumbing to turkey-tryptophan comas. However, some blessings are neglected altogether, left out in the cold November rain every year. Ironically, they are some of the most vital entities God has gifted us with, so in preparation for the holiday, here are three things we all desperately need that I can’t recall ever thanking God for…inexplicably but awesomely prefaced by stereotypical surfer sayings (stellar!).
Whoa, heavy dude.
I’m guessing when you stepped outside this morning, the force of your legs pushing against the ground didn’t propel you off into a rather cold, lonely, unpleasant death in the vacuum of space. Bonus. And most likely those steps brought you out into a world that didn’t immediately turn you into a melted river of protoplasm or I-cicle, as our planet continues to maintain a well-designed distance from our wonderfully bright and warm star. Phew! And when you went back indoors to relieve your shrinking bladder (I’ll admit it is a LITTLE colder than desired where I live), I’ll bet your waste dropped nicely into the toilet instead of floating around making a big me…well, more on that later. Doctor humor, sorry. The point is this: without gravity, we’d have a pretty lousy Thanksgiving day. Heck of an idea, God, thanks.
OK, it’s later! Yes, it would be a rather nasty time cleaning up waste that never stays in the toilet; our toddler has impressed that lesson on us even with gravity present! However, that’s nothing compared to never being able to get the waste out there in the first place. The incredibly intricate way our 25 feet of intestinal tubing both get the goods and deport the dung assures health, relief, and literally life, and yet I’ve never sung a hymn praising God for poo. This gift is neither gross nor sacrilege; it’s a grace we all quite viscerally understand. So as we force our tubes to toil overtime tomorrow, let’s be all the more thankful God gave them to us (Click to tweet). Much appreciated!
That smells funky man.
We can also be thankful for the senses we’ve been given helping us not put organisms into our tubes to make them grumpy. But funky as it may be, one of the most common culprits is also one of our greatest allies: mold. Only 87 years ago, Alexander Fleming discovered by “accident” that a blob of mold that had found its way into one of his petri dishes killed the bacteria being grown there. A few years later, the responsible agent penicillin was isolated for widespread medicinal use, issuing in the age of antibiotics. Mold has saved countless lives and single-handedly increased human longevity by many years, both through the circumstance and science God issued to us. I hope it will be a good reminder in mid-December, when my Thanksgiving leftovers are gettin’ funky, to keep molding an attitude of gratitude all year long.
Of course, there are so many crucial yet forgotten blessings to add to a list like this (very honorable mentions include skin, air, every heartbeat, the moon, consciousness, etc., etc.), but you have a list of your own I’m sure. So I’ll risk one last bout of physician humor and encourage you-whenever gravity keeps you pinned to porcelain loosing the leftovers of last night’s bountiful bleu-cheesed greens-to give thanks to God for the neglected necessities that keep you kickin’ (Click to tweet)!
Up for more doctor jokes? You’ll find plenty in my free e-book series Healing Hereafter, where we explore many more mercies of God and also search for answers where they’re not as apparent. Download in just two clicks, with the first here!