Last week, my wife and I woke up one morning, and got ready for the day just like any other weekday. I work from home, and my wife works in an office, so I always see her off in the morning.
On this particular morning, right after my wife went out the door to work, I noticed a sound like running water coming from the ventilation register in the living room. I started doing some investigation, and I quickly discovered that there was a leak from somewhere behind the ventilation duct, and out of view of the basement ceiling.
At this point that morning, I became pretty upset and discouraged about the house that we live in. This isn’t the first leak that we’ve encountered, and there are lots of other things in the house that need work. Between the things that need done in the house, and the baby on the way (due in January), it is quite easy to become overwhelmed by everything and feel defeated.
Suddenly in the midst of all these negative feelings, I remembered the lesson my wife and I were teaching in Sunday school the previous day. We were teaching 3rd and 4th graders about being thankful. With that lesson in mind, I decided that I was going to find at least one thing to be thankful for regarding this leak, and I actually found more than one:
- The leak only started that morning, and I heard it almost as soon as it started.
- It happened while at least one of us was at home, rather than the day before when we were gone almost all day.
- We have wonderful people like my wife’s dad, Phil, who was willing to come help us and lend his expertise.
Later that evening, after all of the other commitments that he already had were attended to, my father-in-law Phil came over for a couple hours to help me fix what turned out to be a pinhole leak in a pipe. He has the equipment needed to cut out a section of pipe, and solder in place a new piece, plus the experience with doing it so that he knows what needs to be done.
In the end, the leak was fixed, and there wasn’t any damage done by the water that escaped. It was a reminder to me that our circumstances don’t dictate our emotions and experiences. Rather, our perspective of our circumstances is what dictates our emotions and experiences.
There’s a passage in 1 Thessalonians that came to mind:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I’ve heard a trite saying by many Christians to just be thankful all the time. While that’s true, I think it requires a little bit more clarification. The point is to be thankful for what you do have, for what good is in your life, etc. It doesn’t mean that you pretend like everything is perfect. Bad things happen, and there are negative situations that you find yourself in. But through everything you encounter, if you look hard enough, you can always find something to be thankful for.
Perspectives matter. We need to keep the proper perspective on our life.