In the movie “Star Trek: Generations” there is a character named “Data,” an android whose life long wish is to become more human. Data has never felt emotions, a limitation in his programming. But at the beginning of this movie he has an “emotion chip” installed. The first thing Data does with his new emotions is to go to the bar and have a drink. With his first sip his entire face contorts into something resembling a prune as he announces he is “feeling” something. His friend Geordi points out that it looks like Data hates the drink, to which Data responds enthusiastically, “Yes! That’s it! I hate this! It is revolting!” Yet when he is offered another cup, Data eagerly responds, “Please!”
Data was excited to be having any emotions, even the sensation of loathing the taste of a beverage. To him it was a new experience, an experience he had been searching for all his life. He was ecstatic and grateful to be feeling anything and he was willing to take the good with the bad.
Sometimes I wonder what has happened to our sense of gratitude. After all, our very existence is a gift from God. How often do you sit back and thank God for even being here in the first place? Oh, we all may send up a prayer from time to time thanking God for the food on our table or the roof over our head, and I don’t mean to diminish that. After all, in America today even many people living below the poverty level still live like kings compared to some of the slums in India or South America. Those of us living comfortably by the standards of our prosperous nation certainly have nothing to complain about. So thanking God for these blessings is definitely a good thing.
But we owe God more than that. According to the Bible God did not just create the universe but through Jesus He is “sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3). In other words, God did not just make you, but the entire creation continues to exist from moment to moment only because God is actively involved in holding it all together. God made you, but He also keeps you in existence every second of every day.
Not only should we be thanking God for creating us, but every morning we should thank Him for giving us and everybody else in the universe the chance to exist one more day. Looking at life this way gives us a bit of perspective. Bad things will come our way. Maybe we’ll lose our job or have some other financial setback. In those circumstances we certainly aren’t thanking God for our financial blessings. But there is still something far more fundamental to thank Him for.
Data touched on this. He understood that some things are so fundamental that they deserve our gratitude, whether we are currently facing good or bad. I don’t know yet what today has in store for me. It is just getting started. But I will take the opportunity right now to thank God for sustaining me one more day. Will you join me in doing the same? God bless you.