Appreciating what we take for granted

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

I recently vacationed to a tropical resort, where the only thing my wife and I did was relax, refocus and enjoy each other’s company – and the beautiful 85-degree temperatures.

At the end of a busy day lounging around in the sun or cooling off in the pool, we often sat on our fourth floor balcony until it was time to go down for dinner.

One particular evening, I found myself entranced by the goings-on happening below me.

There were staff members rearranging lounge chairs and collecting towels, outdoor restaurants setting up tables and preparing for the evening rush and guests still trying to enjoy the last little bit of sunshine as it descended behind the mountains.

Apparently I’d been staring downward for so long that I developed a slight cramp in the back of my neck. Finally realizing why the pain had developed, I quickly lifted my head – holding it perfectly straight.

It was at that moment when I saw what I was missing right in front of me – the ocean.

Fish playfully jumped from beneath the surface of the water, and large birds circled overhead – though were unrecognizable to me.

The water was a beautiful teal color, accented with white foam highlights caused by active waves crashing down upon the shore. The clouds were as puffy as cotton balls and the sky was the most brilliant blue you’ve ever seen – as if created by an artist with his pallet and brush.

Nature provided me with an incredibly profound lesson that day. We’re so busy “looking” at the things that don’t matter – that we often take for granted what’s been right in front of us the entire time.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen how much time I spend “looking” when in reality I should be “appreciating” all the blessings I’ve been given.

It’s easy to overlook the intangibles of life. But when our lives are faced with uncertainty, it’s those little intangibles, which bring our lives meaning.

It has been said, “People are always thinking there’s something better out there, that they forget to appreciate what they already have.” – Anonymous

Don’t wait for something drastic to happen in your life before you appreciate what’s right in front of you – before you finally look up and realize you already have everything you need.