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I wonder if the Israelites were meant to give thanks, eat, and be done with their daily bread so that they would not be preoccupied with looking for permanence where there was none to be found, but have the wherewithal to lift their eyes to their Maker, and find in the transient gift a reminder of what is eternal. I think this is why the Lord instructed me to steward my one, fleeting life by giving thanks. Gratitude intensifies the passing moment of beauty by leading it to point to an eternal homeland and to the King at its center.

David's imagination was different from mine. He spoke of family as something winsome, and I was drawn towards the kind of relationships he envisioned because they seemed beautiful, and worth the sacrifice they would demand. I felt as if he had been somewhere I had never gone, and having listened to him describe it, I wanted to go too.