This post is a result of a conversation I had with Ms. P over last weekend. (So thank you Ms. P!).
While writing this post didn’t take a lot of time, posting it did (think taxes).
And without further delay, …. here is the post.
We don’t give enough credit to ourselves and others for the accomplishments we and they have done.
I remember thanking my grandmother for a dinner. She told me she didn’t deserve the praise; but to thank god for the meal as he provided. I didn’t know what to say, I was too young to say something and definitely not encouraged to question people’s thoughts about god and about life.
But poor woman! For her to know how to cook, put that knowledge to work, and do it over hot stove on a hot August day, and not to accept a thank you, sounds more like someone who would prefer to suffer than to be happy.
Why not take credit for cooking a dinner? I was not saying something that was false, misleading, or exaggerating her contribution to Western Civilization. It was a simple thank from a child (me!) who could cook (yet).
Giving thanks, or maybe NOT giving thanks, comes with other activities.
I have run marathons before. Now I am getting too old (well, I still want to run the LA Marathon, but perhaps that is another story).
Every 26.2 mile run puts a tremendous stress on one’s body and mental strength. People have actually died running such a long, cruel, and merciless course. In fact, the first known person who ran such a distance died at the end. The very first marathon I ever ran, a 50+ year man died on the course.
So why enter, let alone run, such a race?
It’s a challenge. Once the race begins, no one can help you. It is you and you alone that is responsible for the completing (you can insert the word “surviving” here) the run.
Some runners pray to god before the race and some give thanks to him (her?) after the race. They lessen their contribution to such an awesome accomplishment by not acknowledging they did the run all by themselves. No space alien helped them. No person, bird, or god carried them.
Birds, space aliens, and people have their limitations. But god, who despite having the full knowledge of a person running the race, and having both the power and ability to help that runner, has yet to come to the aid of a runner.
No god has ever lifted the legs of a runner, or made the course easier by removing all the pebbles, or magically provided a glass of water during the race to reduce dehydration, or even to shake your hand or offer a hug at the end. Of course, one is sweaty and dirty after a marathon, but such offers are really, really appreciated! =)
In fact, if statistics are worth anything in figuring out if a god intervenes in an activity, it seems that since so many runners have died on a 26.2 mile course, and if god can both prevent or cause these deaths one can reasonably conclude that one has to fight a god in completing a marathon. I don’t think I want to thank any entity who makes my life or activities harder.