I think we’ve all heard this one: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
Although, the next one is new to me: “Truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d never lose it.” Appreciation. Gratitude. “Thanks. Giving.”
The latter was this Sunday’s title for the sermon. And it is so apropos for the time. As we enter into this ironic season of chaos and love, Pastor reminded us on Sunday what Moses reminded the children of Israel before entering the Promise Land:
“But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to get wealth, so that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today.” Deut. 8:18
Can you imagine being given this year’s top luxury car, insurance paid for a lifetime, no gas or electricity needed (we are riding on Jesus fuel), registration covered until you say otherwise, the finest interior, best high-tech features, all maintenance covered?
All you have to do is thank and honor the giver for the rest of your life. Sounds easy enough, right? The crazy thing is that’s what we have now. As we were reminded on Sunday, I have the best right now, and I didn’t do anything to get it but say yes.
I have to tell you that through my whole journey, I can clearly see God’s hand. In college, I had a low GPA. I’m talking in the two’s. I scored extremely low on the Law School Admissions Tests. So low, that I was below the range where Law Schools start looking at applications. But somehow, I got in.
I’d never met a judge or lawyer before thinking about law school. Then all of a sudden the then District Attorney of San Francisco Kamala Harris met with me and helped me write my personal statement. In law school, I was on academic probation at the end of the first year. I hyperventilated every time a teacher called on me to speak in class. (Thank the Lord I’m not of a fairer complexion.) This little dark skinned girl from South Sacramento, who barely paid attention in high school let alone law school, passed the bar the first time and is now working as a Deputy City Attorney.
How can I say anything but thank you, God! If you’re flawed like me, I find ways. But as Pastor reminded us: “If your relationship is right, you will revere the source.” I have to check myself every day, where am I with God.
And I thank God for his grace. If you look at Moses’ sermon in Deut. 8, you can see how important it is to not forget and appreciate the Lord our God by any means. It’s life or death. Deut. 8:19. And the crazier thing is that, it doesn’t make sense why I wouldn’t say thank you. I know I don’t deserve anything good. I’ve lived life earning the consequences of sin. The only reason why I am where I am and not where I could be is God’s grace.
I leave you with this last thought. My mother and father prayed for me every day. They’re not college graduates or wealthy. And they had a hard-headed child, out of three kids, who fought them every chance she got. But they trusted God and made sure I knew him.
Again, as we learned Sunday, God’s promises are not always a straight line. Just like Israel, I am benefiting from my parents and their ancestors’ faithfulness. I am absolutely receiving the blessings that my ancestors, who fought with their lives and did not see.
The question that I’m left with is what am I leaving those that follow me? What blessings am I leaving?
I am a writer, a poet. I peruse life like a storybook, a tale, where the ending is unknown but believed to be happily ever after. I am an attorney by trade. I am a singer, poet, and actress by desire and gift. I am a member of City Church of Sacramento and I am growing in grace and repentance. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and friend, all of which I am gratefully budding in.