Ever wonder about how we got here? How did we make it to this point? Regardless of how well your family prepared you for life all of us are indebted to those who have gone before us and paved the way. The story of our families is filled with people who made courageous choices. Someone decided to leave where they were raised and ventured out to make a new start in a new place. What we enjoy today is because they decided to make a decision and leave their present environment for an uncertain future. For most of us, our families provided for us and took care of us and saw that we were cared for and had our needs met.

If you are a believer in God, then you know that God has His eye on you as well. He cares for and about you. All along the way, there have been teachers and pastors and neighbors and friends as well as relatives that have taken an interest in us and helped us in a wide variety of ways. There is a tendency that each of us must fight, that idea that we are self-made. If you find a self-made person you have found a very puny thing indeed. So many have contributed to shaping us that we are not able to even identify everyone who has contributed to our well-being, growth, and development.

When was the last time you reflected on this subject? Have you recently stopped to really think about all the people who have influenced your life? It might be a good quiet time activity. Taking time for this would help us to capture a sense of gratitude as well as perspective. Our sense of annoyance might dissipate if we took some time for gratitude for those we more often than not are taken for granted or never thought about at all.

Take time today or tomorrow to reflect on the goodness of God and the blessings that have come your way because of the people that have entered into your life. You can start with your family, spouse, parents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins. Thank the Lord for the teachers, coaches, bosses, and others who have given you opportunities and taught you valuable life lessons. Have you had someone serve as a mentor, it would be a nice thing to write them a note or call them and tell them how much they have meant to you. Pastors, and Sunday School teachers, as well as college professors and even neighbors, would love to hear from us as well. If we stop and evaluate and reflect on our life, we would be reminded of how many people have have contributed to our lives. Instead of assuming that they know how much we are indebted to and how much we love them, take the time and let them know this week.

Gratitude and appreciation can be the oil that keeps our heart from becoming hard and embittered. Thank you to all who have influenced me and made a difference in my life. I will never forget you. I think I will go and write some notes and make some phone calls.

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