Now and then we are reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. I may be a little slower than most people, because it seems God needs to give me very pointed reminders.
Last night brought such a reminder. A thunderstorm hit around 2:30 this morning, and our power went out at 3:35. I lay there for a few minutes waiting for it to come back on while my wife got her cell phone to call the power company and report the outage.
After she returned to bed, we continued without power. I lay there interminably thinking of all the inconvenience brought about by this situation and what I would do about it.
My first thought was about how to shave with no electric lights. Should I find a candle to burn? Should I skip shaving and go through my morning with a scruffy beard until it got light enough to see from the outside light?
Then I began thinking about this blog. I always write one on Monday and set it up to be posted on Tuesday. How would I get that done this week? Either my smart phone or its operator doesn’t work well enough to write and post it that way.
Where could I go that would provide me with both power to keep my laptop charged and WiFi to connect to the internet to post it? Barnes & Noble has WiFi, and a few of the tables have access to power outlets, but the tables are too small to suit me, since I use an external mouse and keyboard. I screw everything up when I try to use my ham-hands on the build-in keyboard.
Denny’s has nice-sized booths, and the one near me has at least a couple of electric outlets I could plug into, but does it have WiFi? I don’t go there regularly and didn’t know the answer to that.
Wait a minute. How was I going to be sure to wake up on time with my electric clock incapacitated? I lay awake stewing over that for awhile until I thought about my cell phone and went and got it and set an alarm on it.
I finally dozed off and dozed fitfully until the alarm went off this morning. A couple of minutes later, as I reached over to wake Sharon for the day, the power came back on. Talk about a relief. I would have light to shave and power to run my laptop after all. Hallelujah.
I thought again about how foolish we are to worry about things. The worry never actually gets anything done, and very often the thing we worry about goes away of its own accord before we have to address it. It know this, and I preach it to chronic worriers all the time, but last night I fell victim to worry myself.
After I got over the foolishness of worrying, God brought another matter to my mind. He began to remind me that only the last century and a half or so has provided man with gas and electric power. Before that, no one had a switch to flip on an electric light to shave by. Or a fan or air conditioner or any of a myriad of other things we take for granted in today’s world.
Then he began to remind me that even in today’s world there are people in many places who still don’t have these conveniences. How many people on this planet have to leave their homes and walk to a well or spring and fill buckets with water to take back to their homes? How many have to cut down trees or otherwise gather wood to make fires to heat their homes or cook their food?
People around the world live very primitive lives, and a very temporary loss of electric power put me into a tailspin. I was reacting like a little kid who has everything he could possibly need but cries because another kid has a toy he wants.
How spoiled am I. I was tossing and fretting about a small matter when I should have been thanking God for all the large matters I don’t have to worry about. I should be thankful every day that I have food to eat and clothes to wear and a secure house to live in. I should praise God for all He has given me rather than fuss and fret over a few minor inconveniences.
What do you have to be thankful for? How often does it cross your mind to thank God for what you have—and also for the lacks and unmet needs you don’t have?
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.