Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Broken Washing Machine and a Sunny Day

Our washing machine broke earlier this month, and due to a series of regrettable circumstances, we were without one for 2 weeks. For the first time in 25 years, I went to a Laundromat.  Sitting there, waiting for my clothes, I was convicted of how many things I take for granted.

During the almost-two years I lived in Afghanistan, I had no running water, let alone hot water. In fact, I didn’t even have clean drinking water. We had to boil our water for 10 minutes to disinfect it. I couldn’t even take electricity for granted due to frequent power outages. Every day, in order to take my daily sponge bath, I had to boil a bucketfull of water. I remember thinking I would never take a hot shower for granted. Thirty years later… I do.  Sometimes when Altha and I are taking a drive, she will say "Aren't you glad it's not raining?"  And I say "yes," but I know I was just taking it for granted.

Human beings have an infinite capacity for taking things for granted. The Apostle Paul wrote, "In everything give thanks" (1 Thess. 5:18). I think we may be reading this verse backward—we think it means to be thanking God in spite of bad things. But if we give thanks on the front end—thanking God for all the good things we normally take for granted—we would be preconditioned to give thanks in everything.  And besides, what a shame to take a sunny day for granted!

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