I found myself complaining recently about what we all might consider a “first-world problem.” Fortunately, I caught myself, which is a minor miracle of God I suspect. As I realized how trivial my problem would seem to so many, I made a mental list of all those folks who would love to have my “problems.”
So, let me confess before the world (or at least to the readers of Liberating Word) that I have absolutely no reason to complain about anything ever. Oh, that doesn’t mean I won’t, but I want to go on record as acknowledging that my life has been so incredibly blessed that if I was cursed to live miserably for the remainder of my days my blessings still would outweigh any curses.
It is probably also important to acknowledge that much, perhaps most, of the good in my life are pure gifts of grace, or fate, or fortune. I didn’t choose:
- My family, whose genes seem remarkably durable, energetic, and healthy.
- The place of my birth with all the advantages that come from simply being American.
- My literacy or education, which came from persistent parents and teachers determined to give me every advantage in life that they could.
Of course, this list could go on, and I expect that you could make your own list, too. Oh sure, we all have our liabilities as well, but the truth is the list of assets is longer still. If my time on earth was through, someone should say that I got more than my share of blessings while I was here.
I just wish I could live with a more constant awareness of that. Those hundreds of men who died far too young during a grievous period of my life and ministry gave me many all-too-costly gifts. One was a persistent reminder that, regardless of age, tomorrow isn’t ours, only today, and it should be filled with appreciation, celebrations, and as much joy as possible.
As the old hymn reminds us, “Count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it might surprise you what the Lord has done.”