Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

Last week, our eighth grandchild arrived in Montreal eleven days late. As a result of baby’s tardiness, we had to extend our hotel reservation twice. Perhaps he was so comfortable inside his mother that he was resisting eviction! In any event, when we visited them that evening, our daughter-in-law and son were very tired but happy. This wonderful occasion brought to mind something Jesus said.

Many years ago, I worked in Montreal on two separate occasions. Mark, the father of our new grandson, was born there. This particular visit occasioned a trip down memory lane as we reminisced and visited many of the places we had frequented when we lived there. Above all, however, I was overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratitude.

Be grateful, for life from beginning to end is a gift.

First, Mary and I are grateful that both baby and mum are healthy. Holding the little fellow for the first time, we experienced profound wonder. Once he was not and now he is! It brings to mind a verse in the Bible where the psalmist declares, “Thank you for making [him] so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous…” (Psalm 139:14(a), NLT)

Second, we are grateful to be alive to celebrate his birth. Six years ago, I was diagnosed with early stage lung cancer and underwent surgery to remove the malignant tumour. After several years of regular follow-ups, my doctor pronounced me “totally cured.” It suddenly hit me during our visit that we have welcomed five new grandchildren into the family since that cancer diagnosis in 2011. Moreover, Mary and I climbed Mont Royal twice during our visit and my lungs worked just fine. I am thankful to God – who in our experience heals both directly and through doctors – for my healing.

Third, I am grateful to God for my life changing encounter with Jesus during my thirties in Montreal. Prior to that encounter, I vividly recall the empty feeling following hard on the heels of business success. Thinking my problem might relate to the wrong calling, I visited the medical faculty at McGill University. Having previously abandoned my plan to go through medical school, I began to wonder if I had made a mistake. Perhaps becoming a doctor would satisfy my yearning for purpose? However, my aversion to the sight of blood – the reason I switched to business in the first place – once again dispelled that notion!

Anyhow, the entire event was a fresh reminder that life from beginning to end is a gift. About life, Jesus said, “My purpose is to give [every marketplace leader] a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10(b)) I thank God everyday for His gift of abundant life.

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.