“Wells…Which Thou Diggedst Not”

It’s easy to take the good things in our lives for granted. Gratitude helps us stay humble and reminds us of our obligation bless the lives of others.

At the end of Moses’ life, as his people prepared to enter the promised land, he warned them not to forget the source of their blessings:

When the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,

And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Deuteronomy 6:10-12

The Reverend Peter S. Raible, a former minister at the University Unitarian Church in Seattle Washington, paraphrased these verses in this way:

We build on foundations we did not lay.

We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.

We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.

We drink from wells we did not dig.

We profit from persons we did not know.

We are ever bound in community.

https://www.uuchurch.org/worship/june-2015-generations/

King Benjamin not only urged his people to be aware of and grateful for our blessings, he also modeled that behavior for them:

I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.

Mosiah 2:11

Notice how Benjamin gives credit to his people, his father, and God for the privileges he enjoys, and notice how that gratitude fills him with a sense of responsibility.

Elder Clark G. Gilbert has encouraged us to “show some humility for circumstances we may not have created ourselves.” He encouraged us to view these unmerited blessings in our lives as an opportunity and an obligation to give and to serve: “Failure to reseed the fields planted by others can be the equivalent of returning a talent without increase” (“Becoming More in Christ: The Parable of the Slope,” General Conference, October 2021).

Today, I will be grateful for blessings I enjoy because of the efforts of others and because of the grace of God. I will remember my continuing reliance on God, and I will strive to build foundations which can bless other people, as I have been blessed.

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