Do I take things for granted? Yep, I sure do...like washing machines. Maybe it's my old age, but I've seemed to have developed a bad habit of forgetting that I've washed a load of clothes and therefore fail to transfer them into the dryer in a timely manner. Anybody who has ever lived in a hot humid climate knows the result, and it's not pretty! The only way to fix the mistake is to wash them again. I'm just now rewashing a load of clothes for the 3rd time! Not really that big of a deal...yet when I really think about it, I know in my heart that it is a big deal. It's a big deal for me to take my blessings for granted and to be so wasteful living in a land where many people have so little. For that matter, it really wouldn't matter where I lived, it would still be a big deal and that's why I'm writing about it today. Maybe by taking the time to think this through and by putting my confession out there for you all to read, I'll be more conscientious in the future.
I think the source of my problem isn't really old age...that's just an excuse that I tend to be using more and more these days. The real problem is the amount of effort I put into washing the clothes in the first place. It's nothing to step out onto the service porch, add a bit of soap, fabric softener, push a few buttons and before you know it, I have soft clean clothes. I can guarantee you that if I had had to scrub those clothes by hand on the shore of a river like I've seen some Thai families do, there's no way that I would walk off and forget about them!
I'm pretty sure this is another one of life's everyday experiences that has bigger applications to ponder. Sorry if I'm getting too heavy. I'm really writing for myself today...just recording my thoughts as though I were writing in a journal. Anyway, since I've been over here, I've been exposed to different religions...mainly Buddhist. Though there is still so much I don't know or understand about what they believe, one thing I've observed daily is the practice of making merits. In order to deliver themselves to a better life, they believe that they must do good works and must offer gifts or make merits of food, flowers... You may remember seeing pictures of spirit houses with these gifts placed in them that I've taken and placed in my Shutterfly album. A better reincarnation is totally dependent on their self effort in this life. Personally, I can't help but think of what a contrast this is to Christianity! As a believer in Christ, I know there is nothing I can do to save myself. I have a home in heaven only because of what Christ did for me by sacrificing His perfect sin free life in place of my sinful one.
OK, so back to the washing machine... since my salvation is not dependent on my effort it can be easy for me to take God's blessings for granted! That's another confession... There have been so many times that I've gotten distracted with life that I've forgotten to take time to be thankful...I mean really thankful that my God is who He says He is. I can't begin to count the number of times I've taken the most precious gift I've ever been given and cast it aside and said, "no time today"...not literally nor purposefully, but just like I didn't leave the clothes in the washing machine on purpose, it's because I failed to live gratefully for all the blessings God has freely blessed me with. Yes, there's no doubt about it, I'm guilty. Praise God that I'm also forgiven!
(FYI the clothes have finally made it to the dryer!)