I was going to write about the new wildflowers that have come up this past week or the bright yellow-green coat of pollen over everything here this time of year, but I feel the need to talk about something else this week. I want to talk about taking small things for granted, like having a house to go to sleep in tonight or a church building to fellowship within on Sunday. Things that just always are. Things that you’d never expect to be any different.
This past week I’ve had two occurrences of things I’ve take for granted that hit closer to home than I prefer this week. On Thursday some church friends of mine had a kitchen fire in the house they were renting, and are now left with next to nothing. They’re able to save some clothes and things because the house was not a total loss, but a lot the clothing, furniture, and, you know, house stuff is ruined. I don’t know many more details than that, but I do know one thing. A house to sleep in, clothing, furniture, house stuff… Those are all things that I take for granted every day. Sure, I know that they could be gone tomorrow. But they won’t. It’ll still be there. Sure I have pretty bad luck sometimes, but the really bad stuff happens to other people. I’m an awful, terrible, no-good, very bad person for thinking that way, but for some reason that’s how I think, and I think a lot of us are the same way.
The second thing that happened this week was just crazy to me. I’ve always been extremely interested in natural disasters and scared silly of them at the same time. This past Friday I heard the tornado warnings on the radio and fairly brushed them off, it wasn’t until I was already at my destination (a phenomenal David Phelps concert, btw) that I got those crazy emergency weather texts on my recently acquired smart phone. I paid a little attention to it, but my roommate texted and said we only got a bit of hail, so I brushed past the thought and into the concert, which I was sure was out of danger. It couldn’t possibly hit a concert full of people there to listen to a Southern Gospel type guy, could it now? Anyways. At intermission, I get in line for the bathroom and one of the guys is talking about a tornado that wiped out a church on Centerville Tpk. My seminary is at a church on Centerville, so I was extremely concerned until I learned it wasn’t the one I cared about. (How selfish am I anyway? Apparently quite a bit, but that’s a different topic.) The next day I drove by that church to see the damage, since it’s less than a mile from my seminary (the picture above is that church). The Real Life church in Chesapeake was in ruins, and my heart broke for the worshippers who were now displaced, shocked, and asking the big “WHY?”. I pretty much take going to church for granted. Sometimes, in my less sanctified mindsets, I even whine about it in one way or the other. And here I am confronted with a congregation of souls that have lost the place they gather to worship.
What other small things do I, do you, take for granted every day? It can all be gone. Really, truly gone. Bad stuff happens to other people, but it can just as easily and quickly happen to you and I too. Food, shelter, clothing, a place to worship, travel safety, income, friends, family. You name it. I need to spend more time being thankful for these little things I take for granted, and less time, well, taking them for granted. God has given them freely, and he is free to take them back at any time. We need to remember this. I need to remember this. Thank God for the small things that just always are.
I felt this was important; it was really tuggin’ on my heartstrings. Maybe we’ll get to talk about wildflowers next week.