VII. Life is a gift. Our existence is a gift. Food is a gift. Sunshine, air, water, rain, clouds, animals, plants, sex, bodies and minds are all gifts. We are gift. I am, myself, not only a gift from God to myself, but the man God created me to be is a gift from Him to me, which I am free to accept or reject. My acceptance of that gift is my gift to Him. But I am also meant to be a gift to everyone around me (as we all are). The coconut that sits on my desk right now (that’s right, I’m going to eat a fresh Thai coconut later today. Possibly on a sunkissed, windswept sandy beach overlooking the ocean. It’s okay to be a little jealous. But I digress.) That coconut is a gift of God, His way of sending life and energy into my body, through all of my cells, which I can use for whatever I choose, good or bad. And it is going to be delicious. He didn’t have to make it taste so good. But the fundamental nature of a gift is that it has to be given. It cannot be coerced or it changes what it is. It is no longer a gift. It is existentially corrupted. It cannot be taken, only received. And this is the existential warp in our nature, that Adam and Eve tried to take by force what God had not given them freely. They grasped. We now grasp. We fear not having enough or not having our rights or the pleasure we somehow feel we deserve. It is a lack of trust in the moment by moment providence of God. This ruins our relationship with Him, for how can there be relationship where there is no trust. It ruins our relationships with each other, for if I cannot trust the God who created me I certainly will not trust my fellow human. And it even ruins our enjoyment of the things we so desperately grasp at.