Many Saturday mornings my family and I walk our dog to a nearby lake, situated between two cabins at the dead end of a private drive. Mature oak trees form an archway overhead; deer often peer through rows of planted pines, observing their neighbors. I regularly comment how I’d love to own a house on this street, yet the matriarch who owns the sprawling, secluded forest acreage will not entertain the idea of allowing someone to encroach upon their serenity by selling a parcel. I play out scenarios in my mind as to how I could acquire property like this someone in the city. I walk for many steps before I realize I’ve left the space, and I gently return my mind to the family stroll. And a thought recurs each time: It’s not about ownership, but access.
One of the owners of the cabins is kind enough to allow access to his dock, canoes, and even to feed his pet pig, aptly named Pig—the kids get a kick out of that, squealing louder than that porker. He welcomes us with coffee in hand as he strolls his land in his pajamas. He’s always glad we’ve arrived. We fish. We play. Life truly is good.
I’m most aware of God’s goodness when I’m most grateful, when I’m mindful that I need not own anything in order to appreciate it, whatever it is. I’m also mindful that many long for the access and privilege I am afforded, access I often take for granted.
We cannot often control what we own and what we do not own, but we can be grateful for the access we have, whether to a field, a pond, a school, a home, or a friend. In all things, in all access, give thanks.