by Dell Todd
This Essay was shared with the congregation of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, MI on the Sunday of the Parish Annual Meeting, January 2016:
I don’t greet each day with my heart filled with thanksgiving. I awake with questions.
How is it that still, I am not making an impact for mankind, our present, our future, our planet.
Why do I spend the vast majority of my time engaged in utter futility.
How can I possibly find whatever strength which got me through yesterday, to do it all over today.
I carry the weight of these thoughts. It is a joyless burden.
How did I arrive at today, where I ponder all that I have not.
Accomplishments not yet realized.
Time, the greatest luxury, wasted on me, day after day.
Talent and treasures slipping through my hands like a bad habit.
Grace has been present during the arc of my life, even before my first day.
Grace is unearned and undeserved. Grace is unpredictable. Grace is too good to be true. Grace is always better than my own planning. Grace is beyond the horizons of my dreams — yet in front of me every day. Grace is deliverance and invitation.
Grace was present at my conception. And my adoption. And every day in between.
Grace was with us when I met Amy — my spouse of over 20 years.
Grace has been with us every step of the way with our children Katie and Spencer, although at times we would simply prefer the Owner’s Manual.
Grace was present over 40 years later when I met my biological maternal grandmother who has loved me all the days of my life.
Grace was present in my ambulance on a cold, gray Tuesday morning last spring as I pondered whether I would survive till dinnertime.
Grace reminds me of all that I have and reminds me that I have accomplished a great deal.
I have what I need.
All that I have is sufficient.
How have I received so much.
How have I been this fortunate.
Our family of four enjoys total health and well-being and sometimes harmony.
We have led such a grand life of adventure together.
Amy & I have over twenty married years together — mind you Amy has two Mothers-In-Law.
We have an incredible future ahead of us, you wouldn’t even believe it if I told you. I’m glad I don’t know what surprises we are in for either.
This I Believe. This I Know.