Something amazing happened to me this afternoon. I flicked a switch and the light came on.
You are probably thinking, "So??? I do that dozens of times a day and think nothing of it."
I know - that is just what I am addressing: we think nothing of conveniences now days. But let me tell you the whole story.
I was awakened this morning at about 5:30 by the beeping of the fan and a bright light flashing around the room. I propped myself up just enough to see Dad leaving our room. (I share a room with four of my sisters). I couldn't imagine what he was doing, but I didn't worry about it for too long. I dropped off to sleep again. Fifteen minutes later he was back, flashing the light around the room again. I sat up and asked him what he as looking for. He explained to me that half the house was without power as one or more of the circuits had tripped and he thought the correct circuit re-setter might have been in our room. We do have one such switch in our room, but it wasn't fixing the problem. Dad then decided to look under the house for the desired switch. The under house access is also in our room, but as we rarely use it, the have it covered and surrounded by a bookshelf, a chest of drawers, and a doll's house. At the best of times, it is quite a feat to get to the door itself, but at 5:45 in the morning, it is rather tiresome to say the least. I helped Dad move what I could as quietly as possible and then jumped back into bed while he went searching. Joy, Jess and Grace were awake too by this time and were helping Dad to look for the switch in every possible place they could think of. (Elise snored on - she is a really heavy sleeper. In fact, when she woke up almost an hour later, she took a glance around the room in astonishment and asked, "What's the doll's house doing there?"!) Eventually, Dad gave up the search and called an electrician to come and sort things out for us, which he did although he isn't sure what caused the jump to begin with. That was at about 9:00 this morning, and you can't imagine how often I went to turn on a light, or even do basic chores like vacuuming only to remember that it was useless.
If there are two words that sum up our culture, they would have to be 'convenience' and 'instant'. Think about it: You run out f hot water and you wonder how on earth you will live through the day; the internet is being slow and the download is taking, oh, at least five minutes - why can't it hurry up??? We want the easy way, and we want it now.
One of my favourite series of books is 'Little House on the Prairie'. In Farmer Boy Almanzo describes having a bath in winter. First, snow is collected in a a big tub and melted and heated on the stove - the wood stove - until it is hot enough for Almanzo to bath in. Then Alice tips out the water and the tub is filled up with snow and melted and heated for her bath. Then Eliza-Jane tips out the water and the sequence goes on and on until Eliza-Jane, Royal, Mother and Father have all bathed, clean and ready for Sunday. Can you imagine having to do that for every person in your family? At my house it would take forever to fill, melt and heat ten tubs of snow end on end on end. We think nothing of turning the tap and having scalding water come pouring out... in fact we get a little cross in winter if the water doesn't heat quick enough for us.
How much we take for granted! We are surrounded by blessings unique to our generation - miracles to those of past eras (whoever heard of a close-in wagon that moves itself, or a stove that boils water in just a few minutes without burning any wood?) How often do we stop to be thankful for those blessings? Thankyou Lord that we are able to keep meat frozen over summer without it going off. Thankyou that I am able to keep in contact with family and dear friends who live hours away. Thankyou for the air-conditioner. (We regularly thank God for that blessed piece of equipment!) Thankyou Lord for warm beds, for regular meals, for a roof that holds out rain and shine. Not everyone has been so blessed, you know. Thankyou that I am able to learn and study. Thankyou that I am able to learn about You. Thankyou that I have the freedom to worship You and study Your Word. That is something we hardly ever think of - it is normal to go to church, to sing a hymn unconsciously under your breath, to read a book by C. S. Lewis, or Max Lucardo, or some other Christian author. In some nations, you do any of those things and you are never heard of again. The Maldive Islands just off the coast of India are one such example. You can read more about the persecution in the Maldives at http://www.persecution.org/category/countries/asia/maldives/
We lead busy lives, probably because it does take us so long to d things as it used to. But try and stop for a few moments today, to thank God for the blessings you may have overlooked previously. If you can't think of any, look around you - they're there, and we would be lost without some of the things we have today.
Here's wishing you a wonderful week. God bless. :D