Accepting Our Gifts

Accepting Our Gifts

Today is our son, John-Nuri’s, fourteenth birthday. I am feeling how deeply I love him and what an important gift he is not only for Barry and me but also his two beloved sisters. I am also reflecting how I almost didn’t accept the precious gift of his presence in my life because of fear. We were both forty-two years old when we received the biggest surprise of our lives and found ourselves pregnant for the fourth time. Our older two daughters were twelve and seven at the time and we were beginning to enjoy their growing independence. Barry had planned a speaking and workshop tour throughout Europe and Russia and we were going to take the girls as part of their homeschooling. A new baby certainly didn’t fit into that plan. But the main reason for my lack of enthusiasm was the devastating experience of the death of our third baby shortly before birth. I was afraid of losing another baby.

How many wonderful gifts from our creator do we turn down because we are afraid or because it is inconvenient or uncomfortable or for many other reasons. There is a story of a little girl who wanted a paper fan for her birthday. Her father took her to a store and bought her a plain little fan. The girl loved to open and close it and was content for several weeks with the fan. Then she wanted a more beautiful one. Her father told her that there was no more money for another fan. One day her father, a gardener, took her to work with him at a big mansion. While she was playing with the fan, a famous artist came to visit. As he was walking through the garden he saw the little girl and asked her if she would like him to draw something on her fan. Her father was very excited about it, but the little girl clutched her precious fan and ran away.

How often do we run away from the divine gifts that are offered to us, the chances to make our lives more beautiful or meaningful? Is there a relationship that has come into your life and you want to run away because it might be too hard or is making you uncomfortable? Is there a child you are wanting to have, but are afraid of the commitment? Do you want to reconnect with your parents but are afraid they might reject you? How about a new career offer, but it means getting out of a comfortable but stagnant and unfulfilling old career. The list goes on and on. Life is constantly offering us gifts that will bless our lives. Because they may not come in neat, pretty packages we are afraid of the unknown and don’t open the gift. The gift, however, is greater than the fear, greater than the feeling of being uncomfortable or inconvenienced. The gift comes as an opportunity to grow into the full beauty of your potential.

How grateful I am that I accepted the gift of our son’s knock on the door of our lives. How thankful that I didn’t allow an almost overwhelming fear to take away one of our greatest blessings. I pray that we might all continue to open to the gifts that come our way, and use them to grow and learn. Perhaps the next time the Divine Artist offers to paint a picture on the fan of our lives we can open and say, “Yes”.

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