Humility is recognizing where my gifts come from

Recently, I have been trying to be more aware of the unexpected gifts and graces that flow my way. I want to be more cognizant of the little coincidences and confirmations that remind me that I am fortunate and blessed. It has been remarkable to recognize just how many positive experiences show up in my life without merit and without effort or personal resourcefulness. Initially, it was frightening when I realized how much I depend on Providence and others to bestow on me throughout the day.

Upon reflection, I remembered an old tale about an accomplished and ego-driven geneticist who happened also to be an atheist. While in his lab, the man challenged God by suggesting that he had discovered a way to create a human being from a mere clod of dirt.

He said to God, “With this medical breakthrough, I have eliminated the need for religion and the reliance on any form of divine intelligence. Humanity will no longer need the crutch of a supreme being to make sense of life!”

Right away, the man challenged God to a creative duel. He was convinced that he could manifest a unique and perfect human life from nothing more than a small clod of dirt. God accepted his challenge. As the doctor was about to begin his experiment, God stopped the man and exclaimed “Oh no, no, no my son…to make this contest fair, you’ll need to first make your own clod of dirt!” 

Jokes and amusing stories are funny, in part because they have some shred of truth baked into their story line. It’s often times subtle but the truth is in there somewhere.

The anecdote about the ego-centric geneticist paints my own disposition on the days when I forget that everything is a gift and starts with The Giver. Not that I ever knowingly smite The Hand That Writes All, but I do risk a certain amount of conceit when I fail to recognize the source of my own professional successes or personal accomplishments.

I act just like the geneticist when I forget that the early foundations upon which my life has been built were completely out of my control: my health, my birth family, my religion, my socio-economic class, my genetics, the country in which I live as well as the morals and values that were passed on to me from generations past.  There have been innumerable inputs which were beyond my choosing but contribute to making me who I am and what I am capable of accomplishing.

Regrettably, I can too easily forget that my current reality is on loan to me from the past. What I do with the gifts in my life will be my contribution to the future. Curiously, my recent increase in mindfulness is not breeding a fear of scarcity. Instead, I find that it frees me of my urge to take control and to micro-manage.

It has been reassuring to step aside and watch as things take shape without my having to work so hard for results. Goodness and Providence abound when I awake each day and express humble gratitude for the gifts in my life.

Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying….cause you are!

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