What have I done to deserve this?

It’s a Wednesday afternoon and the sun is high in the sky. A clumsy young man—you might even call him a boy—shuffles along to his weekly youth group, observing the world around him through a thick pair of glasses.

He’s only 11 years old.

But he already feels lucky. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to have parents who love him. Lucky to live in a small town where he’s allowed to build forts and chase cats. Where he can burn sticks and fall out of trees. Ya’know, boy stuff.

And so he walks into the old church that plays home to this youth group. He sits down and begins reading The Pilgrim’s Progress with the group. And he learns that life is about more than just him. It’s bigger than what he alone can see. A kind, gentle, gray-haired man named Bob then leads him and his friends outside and teaches them how to build rockets out of soda bottles. They all laugh gleefully as their homemade space shuttles soar high into the sky.

And the little boy wonders what he’s done to deserve this. The opportunity to learn about something like humility at such a young age. The guidance of that kind man named Bob.

Nothing. He’s done nothing.

The boy now finds himself driving ATVs through the sand dunes near his parents’ cabin. Out on the lake. In that peaceful, perfect place. He wakes up and realizes he’s playing outdoor hockey with his friends. He blinks and finds himself on an airplane, flying to Disneyland with his family. Again.

He wonders, once again, what he’s done to deserve this.

Nothing. He’s done nothing.

That young boy’s name is Graham.

And he’s 26 years old now. Still a kid, really.

I’ve been on the road for 7 months. I’ve met more amazing people than I can keep track of. I’ve seen sun rises that made me want to freeze time. Forever.

I’ve felt hugs that meant something. I have a degree and a credit card, a shirt on my back and food in my belly.

I constantly find myself asking, What have I done to deserve this?

Nothing. I’ve done nothing.

I was just lucky. Lucky and blessed to be born into a family who could feed me and send me to school and teach me sound morals. Lucky to grow up in a country that provided solid education, effective healthcare, and a fair chance at life. Not everyone has these opportunities growing up. But I did. Somehow.

I’m currently living in Abu Dhabi, just one hour down the coast from Dubai. I have air conditioning and high-speed Internet. I have food and a kitchen to cook in. I have work while I’m here. I’m healthy and I have clean clothing. I have a good friend who is showing me around.

My friends at home are weathering a freak blizzard and I went for a run along the Persian Gulf this morning.

And what have I done to deserve all of this?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

At the end of the day, I’ve realized I’m just lucky. Or blessed. Or whatever you’d like to call it.

But it’s not all in vain. I intend on making a change in the world.

It might be small. You might not even notice it.

But I’m going to change something. Or someone.

Because life is beautiful. And I plan on doing something with it.