Sunday, September 23, 2007

Given Another Sunday

I saw a news article this past week that focused on a Native American woman remembering the "old language" that was spoken in her home when she was a child. I can't remember which of the tribal languages it was, but I do recall that it was one that has fallen out of popular use and was, even then, somewhat rare to encounter in either oral or written form. The main theme of the article was the loss of certain languages due to disuse and the resurgence of efforts to revive nearly extinct languages such as this one.

I can see bits of the article in my mind, including some samples of the language. Its written form was completely unintelligible to me, including numerous keyboard symbols that Latin and Germanic-based languages do not use to represent letters and sounds. I remember being fascinated to think that I had absolutely no idea how to pronounce any of the words, no phonetic clues whatsoever.

What struck me most about the article, though, was not the appearance of the written language, but the literal translations provided as examples. The days of the week were listed and used in simple sentences. In our language, the answer to the question "What is today?" would be "Today is Sunday." But in this language, the answer to the same question translated to "We have been given another Sunday."

For the last several days, this concept has been churning around in my brain. We have been given another Sunday. Gratitude was built into the language. There was no concept of entitlement. The day of the week was not assumed or taken for granted or dismissed lightly. It was understood to be given. The language itself demanded that credit be given where credit is due.

If we lived each day with a basic sense of gratitude built in, acknowledging from the start that this day has been given to us, would our lives be any different?

I would like to adopt this verbage from another language into my own. I would like to begin each day with the proper understanding--that it has been given.

We have been given another Sunday--and we are grateful.

Note: On the way to church this morning, I had the thought that I would share this perspective, based on this particular article I had read, with my family. As I was about to open my mouth to tell them, however, I had the strangest sensation that this might have been something from a dream rather than something I'd read in an article. I hesitated for a brief moment, but then dismissed the thought. After all, I could picture the page in my mind and was certain that it must have come out of the local Missoulian newspaper online, which I read almost daily. I told the story, but found I was hazy on many of the details other than the main idea that I had taken away from it--the sense of gratitude we should feel for the gift of each new day. I noted to myself that I wanted to look that article up again to get the details straight so I could tell the story with confidence and even write about it here, linking the article for reference.

I can't find it. I've searched the archives of the Missoulian. I've searched my own personal history of sites visited on my computer. I've even searched the web in several different ways, trying to find something about this. We don't have a TV or get any newspapers or magazines. I haven't been sitting in doctor's offices this week where I might have picked up some obscure publication to read. I don't have any idea where the article came from or if it ever actually existed. Odd.


Anonymous said...

Excellent food for thought, especially since we "Canucks" are nearing Thnaksgiving. Uncle Ed

CML_Shearings said...

Thanks for the entry into your uplifting thoughts, anyway!!

Esther has been given another new start...This time at The Village Health Care Center. She was hired for a nurse's assistant job & started the CNA classes on Monday. Did she ever get you on the phone to tell you she gave your name & phone # as a reference? I heard her try a couple of times, but don't think she got through.

Eagle-eye Di said...

My heart goes out to all of you Sherry.I sat here reading this,knowing how you are feeling.We love all of you and have you all in our prayers.I do wake up every morning and thank our good Lord for giving us one more beautiful morning to wake up to.One more beginning with either sun or rain,which ever he sees fit to give us.Love ya.

Carol-Ann said...

Hi Sherry
Came back to this post this morning to think about the care and closeness of the Lord. The "nearness" of our God is certainly our good and, through the very process of receiving the thoughts shared in this post, He has gifted you with the assurance of His nearness. What can touch us, meant to do us harm, when the arm of God is around our shoulders? Remembering you and Andy and the family in our prayers,
Carol-Ann (for all the Allens)