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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Appreciating the Little Things

How often do we take little things for granted? Most of us don't think about the fact that we can see, hear, and walk. In fact, we usually complain if there is a minor pain or problem, such as an ingrown toenail. How many people don't have legs at all?

So what in the world brought this up today? Well, I have laryngitis. I've been dealing with a cold all week, and now it's gotten to the point where I can barely make any sound. That means that I'm staying home from work today to rest my voice.

Now laryngitis may not seem like a big problem, and it really isn't. This will be gone in a few days and I'll have my normal voice back. But it makes me think about how little things can affect my ability to work. I talk to several dozen clients per day, as well as my staff. Having a voice is very important (which is why I'm not working today...I'd really strain it talking that much). But there are so many other things that can affect my job more seriously. What if I was in an accident that made me blind? I wouldn't be able to practice medicine at all anymore without the ability to see my patients, x-ray films, etc. What if a large dog bit my hand, causing enough damage that I lost the use of it? I wouldn't be able to do surgery, and it would severely limit my ability to do many other things. What if I lost my hearing? I couldn't use a stethoscope, which is a simple but important diagnostic instrument and wouldn't be able to discover abnormalities with the heart and lungs. What if I couldn't walk? That would definitely make things more difficult, and I couldn't handle many pets easily. However, when I was in vet school I worked with a practitioner who was paraplegic, and still did daily practice in his wheelchair. He's someone I won't forget, as he didn't let a physical handicap stop him from doing what he loved.

It may seem a bit fatalistic, but I do think about these things sometimes. And it's why I carry "accidental death & dismemberment" insurance. But it also makes me appreciate what I do have. As I said, laryngitis is a temporary inconvenience, not a serious problem. And I do have good vision and hearing (though my wife might disagree on that last part), as well as sound limbs. So really, times like this make me look to God and thank Him for what I do have. God has blessed me, and has allowed me to stay healthy enough to work, support my family, and still enjoy what His world has to offer. As I type this, I can hear birds chirping outside. What a blessing to be able to hear such a joyful sound!

Take a moment and say a simple prayer, thanking God that you have what you have, knowing that it could be worse.