You have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight. Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. (Psalm 39:5)
…all these mornings. I wake to the discontent of life in my skin. I wake to self-hatred. To the wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always, the failing. I yell at children, fester with bitterness, forget doctor appointments, lose library books, live selfishly, skip prayer, complain, go to bed too late, neglect cleaning the toilets. I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes. Would I ever be enough, find enough, do enough? But this morning, I wake wildly wanting to live. Physically feeling it in the veins trembling, the hard pant of the lungs, the seeing it in the steady stars, how much I really want to really live. How I don’t want to die. Is that the message of nightmares and dreams? To live either fully alive…or in empty nothingness? (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)
The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks…Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Joy…That has always been the goal of the fullest life—joy…Was this the clue to the quest of all most important? Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo—the table of thanksgiving…(Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)
This is the second in a series on Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right WhereYou Are. Join me this time next week for a reflection on Chapter three.
One Thousand Gifts: Chapter One