There is a hymn written by Gloria Gaither called “Fully Alive” and as I was reading chapter 1 of One Thousand Gifts this song came to my mind. In chapter 1, Ann asks the question “What does it mean to live full of grace? To live fully alive?”
How do we live fully alive when the storms of life hit or when we are stuck in the in-between?How do we live fully alive when we bury a child? When there is cancer? Loneliness?
Where is the joy? Where is the peace? How do we find them? How do we live in grace?
When the hard times hit, do we believe that God still loves us? How can we believe that when He seems to withhold what we desire, what we know would nourish us?
And what if the first sin of humanity wasn’t simply disobedience? How does Ann put it?
Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.
We search for something, anything, that will fill us, that will make us feel alive…anything but God.
And yet…nothing can fill us, nothing can make us feel alive but God and the grace that He gives us.
But it is a choice…a choice to live as one filled with His grace and all that He gives or a choice not to and to live in bitterness and anger and discontentment.
In chapter 2, Ann goes on to share the secret of living fully alive in God’s grace…eucharisteo.
She opens the chapter with this quote from Alexander Schmemann:
Eucharist [thanksgiving] is the state of the perfect man. Eucharist is the life of paradise. Eucharist is the only full and real response of man to God’s creation, redemption, and gift of heaven.
Eucharisteo…thanksgiving…a heart of gratitude…is how we live fully alive so that we are fully ready to die.
A heart that sees the wonder in the small everyday things…a heart that counts the blessings the Lord gives, and always…
The Eucharist invites us to give thanks for dying. To participate in His death with our own daily dying and give thanks for it.
A heart that sees the beauty even in the dying…
A heart that gives thanks for dying…
How do we live fully alive?
By living eucharisteo...by living a life of thanksgiving