Once, a farmer decided to sell his farm. He had lived there a long time and thought there might him be something better waiting for him. So, he decided to ask his friend – who was a poet – to write the description of his farm for the advertisement. This is what the poet wrote:
“A beautiful property where birds sing at dawn, extensive woodland that’s bisected by the brilliant and sparkling waters of a large stream. The farmhouse is bathed in the light of the rising sun in the morning. During the evening there is plenty of tranquil shade to enjoy on the beautiful veranda”
Several weeks later, the poet met the farmer and asked him if he had sold his farm yet? “No”, the farmer replied. “After I read your description of my farm, I decided not to sell. I had never seen what you described. I guess I didn’t appreciate what I had…”
Since this year’s service theme is “appreciation”, I decided to look it up in the dictionary. This is what it said:
“A feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude.”
But, for me it is more than just a “thank you”…for me it
is acknowledging and giving acceptance to something or someone.
It seems to me that sometimes we don’t appreciate all the good things around us…Just like the farmer who didn’t appreciate his farm. Sometimes our eyes are closed to great things and great people that are right in front of our eyes. People we can listen to and learn from.
And, I’ve discovered, you don’t have necessarily like someone or something to appreciate it…to be able to take advantage of the gifts they can bring us.
Even more importantly, we need to appreciate everyone ‘s right to “be”; everyone’s right to share this world with us…no matter how different they may be from us. Yes, they may look different from us…. they may think differently from us…indeed…. they may be very different from us. But we need to respect their rights as a person…as much as they need to respect ours.
Appreciation begins as mutual respect…it can lead to friendship…and, yes, even love.
Look around this amazing scene tonight.
Starlight is filled with people and opportunities waiting to be appreciated by the campers who are lucky enough to be here…and who appreciate that they are lucky enough to be here.
They can give you gifts that you can take home with you and treasure forever.
Life is funny, you know.
In the beginning there is birth.
In the end there is death.
Everything in between is a ”gift”.
That’s why we call it the “present”.
So, appreciate everything that is here for you in the “present”.