A friend recently asked, “Why do we always say ‘Thank God’ when we know things happen either randomly or we make them happen?” Addressing the obvious assumptions in his question, I replied, “We thank God because the ultimate ground of existence is not our own.” Yes, there are random events and we are free agents to a degree, but we are not our own source and sustenance. A power not our own brings us into being, gives us life and sustains us. Even our powers of reason and action are contingent, having their origin outside us. We are co-creators and tenants here who live and move and have our being due to the source of all things, and for that, we can thank God. It is also a practical matter. A little gratitude and humility go a long way toward creating a joyful life.
“We cannot rise above ourselves unless a higher power lifts us up.” – St. Bonaventure (1221 – 1273)