THIRTY DAYS OF THANKS AND GIVING.
DAY 9: NOT COOL
My refrigerator doesn’t fit in a toaster, but it’s toast. Completely crapped out and needs replaced. I’m living out of a cooler and in my spoiled world, that is not cool. The reason my refrigerator stopped working is because, a couple of weeks ago, the kid’s car broke down and is currently getting a new motor. The reason the car broke down is because a couple of weeks before that, my computer needed replacing.
My long time, dearest friend believes that things happen in threes. I don’t know if that magic awful number only applies to her or if that’s a worldwide superstition, but I learned that being close to her meant sharing the curse. Not always a curse, sometimes a blessing because it also applies to good things that happen. For me, it’s more often the curse. My friend would almost look forward to the foreboding third misfortune just to get it over with. She would make me so mad when she said, “You know, things happen in threes. There will be something else soon, just wait.” It freaked me out because she was always right. (She probably still is, I just live far enough away to keep my distresses a secret from her!)
I’m going to take the play from her book and go ahead and embrace a sigh of relief about the refrigerator. I have to. I can’t afford to be in a perpetual state of “what next?”. The life lesson I continue to learn is perspective. In the big picture, I’ve lost a few things that can be replaced. Even if they can’t, they’re just things. I think I can’t do without a computer, or car, or refrigerator but in reality I can. It would be very inconvenient. I hate to think what life would be like without them, but sometimes we need to think about that. As uncomfortable as it is, we need to think about that.
There are people in this world, in our own backyard I might say, that would consider these things an unimaginable luxury. What I find necessary, others consider extravagant. In twelve weeks, I will return to a very destitute region of East Africa for a mission trip to provide medical and construction aid. The people there are strong, resilient, and grateful for what they have. Here’s what I think they have: nothing. They don’t have wooden walls or shingled roofs. They don’t have clean water or an abundance of food. Many have no clothing. None at all. Here’s what they are proud and thankful to have: mud walls and a thatch roof to provide shelter, a slingshot to hunt, pottery to carry water, and firewood to use for boiling and cooking. If I brought them what I find necessary, it would be absolutely ridiculous. A refrigerator to a hut with no electricity or food? A computer to a tribal population who can’t read? A car to transport them to a filthy water source, when the greater need is clean water?
When I think of the conditions I will see in Africa, I’m thankful for the luxury of a cooler much less a refrigerator. I’m not going to let spoiled milk spoil my perspective. If you’re in a season of breakdowns, I challenge you to not have a meltdown. God’s riches are not measured in appliances or vehicles. We have all we will ever need in His forgiveness and the eternity that comes with it.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”