A couple of years ago while preparing for bed, I had the wonderful idea to get up and go running the next morning. Why? I don’t know. Anyway, I was resting peacefully in my bed when this horrible sound jolted me awake and shot adrenaline through my veins: as any good phone alarm should. After scrambling to find the phone, bumping the nightstand, and squinting to hit snooze, I was awake. So, I rolled over for 9 more minutes of peace just to experience that all over again.
I finally got out of bed. I was tired. Honestly, I was really tired. Wanting to go back to bed, I mustered up the strength to go out and punish myself on the road of life, also known as Perry Crossing Road by the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Outside, I stretched and noticed that once again the kids didn’t close the garage door after playing yesterday. Arrrgggh. I was so frustrated. I was ticked. Why don’t these kids listen?
So, I was off to a great morning to jog and talk to the Lord. As I began to jog and pray, I became pretty convicted of all that I take for granted.
My garage door was open all night, as it has been several times in the last few years, and nothing was missing, no one was attacked, nothing happened. I was reminded of going on a mission trip in India a few years ago where houses are surrounded by concrete walls topped with broken glass and jagged metal, and friends in Africa whose homes had been pillaged. So, here is a brief list of some of the things that I took for granted as I prepared to sleep and woke up aggravated and tired before the day began.
Reasonable security, safety, and freedom
Loving family, healthy kids, and faithful wife
A home with electricity, air, comfortable bed, soft towels, and hot water
Ability to go jogging
Being born in an environment where I would be continually exposed to the gospel
A reliable car
Clean running water, food, etc.
The list could go on and on. I do not acknowledge and appreciate these things. I take them for granted. I’m no different than the Israelites who in the Old Testament constantly missed the provisions of God and focused on that which they did not have. That’s me. I take what I’ve been given for granted and focus on what I don’t have. As a result, I find myself complaining a lot versus walking in an attitude of thankfulness (Eph 5:20).
Merciful Father, please forgive me for taking your gifts for granted. In your kindness, you have allowed me so many luxuries that I treat as entitlements. I’m sorry. Adjust my eyes that I might see your gifts and kindness more clearly, and transform my heart that I might be consistently thankful for them. Shift my eyes off of that which I don’t have and on to your faithful provision of my needs. Then, in those moments that my heart longs for that which I don’t have, may you remind me of all that I do and remind me that those things may be kept from me so that I might remain more dependent upon you and faithful to you. Would you remind me that you want me to be holy and satisfied with you and not temporarily appeased by the attachments of this world? Oh God, create in me a thankful heart.