Thankful for what we have
One thing that I promised to do when I began producing my online journal a few years ago was to be open and honest. This morning, as I prayed through the lesson for young adult Sunday school (in our financial series called, “Enough; Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity,” I realized that I had been leaving out a key part of my world to you all in the last couple of weeks. It is the reason my blogging has almost ceased since the 21st of October. So here it is. I began hearing a noise in my car shortly before our Young Adult Fall Retreat (middle of October). Upon further review I was told that all was okay and that it was just a car being a car (occasionally producing noises that don’t mean anything but sound funny). Two weeks later the transmission was completely shot. This is a car with VERY LOW miles and about 4 years left to pay off. The transmission guy says that when this happens it is nothing but a FLUKE, a huge shot of bad luck, and unfortunate. Thanks, I feel better now. It was a major financial crisis for my wife and I and it was a challenge to walk through the process of repairing such a significant issue. It caused some major soul searching and some praying. Yes, it is just a thing…a thing that I believe now (without a doubt) that I could live without. I talked with people close to me in my life. Everybody told me their separate stories of cars breaking down (my parents told me at one time, with four kids, they owned 5 cars…all old, all having breakdowns) among other things. It seemed as though the more research I did when I chose to talk about our financial crisis the more I realized this does in fact, in some way or another, happen to everybody. The question is, “how do we respond?” My initial response was a lot of things very unBiblical. I was angry, frustrated, and discouraged. I felt a significant amount of guilt for having convinced us to get this second car instead of sacrificing and just having one car until the Lord provided. Sure, it is just money, but I think we are all guilty of placing a certain amount of comfort in our financial stability (of which ours was almost completely shattered). To say that the last 2 weeks has been a struggle would be a DRAMATIC understatement. My marriage, heart, budgeting strategies, and attitude of grattitude has been stretched to the max.
In the end amidst the rubble of the destroyed radiator and transmission this is where I greet you this morning. Adam Hamilton, author and creator of the “Enough” series, said this today. “Contentment is found in our relationship with God and our relationships with others. This is why jesus said the two most important things we must do are to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,’ and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ (Mathew 22:37,39). If we keep our focus on these two things, we will find satisfaction for our souls and lasting contentment.”
It has taken me some time, which I’ve decided this morning was human. But I’m there. I’m thankful for what I have…especially when it comes to my relationship with Jesus Christ and my relationships with those who are close to me. I know that I can’t take my transmission with me one day (that I’m actually thankful for), and I know that this recent crisis in my life is a part of a bigger spiritual battle…the one for my joy and for my soul. Today I’m claiming my heart for Christ and binding Satan from stealing what I believe and what I love; my Savior, my family, my friends, and my heart. Thanks for listening this morning, and I look forward to our time together on the blogging wire this week. I’m praying for you all today.