Things I Take for Granted
By Dave Boehi
The remnants of Hurricane Ike raced through Arkansas last Saturday night, blowing down trees and leaving about 180,000 homes without electric power. It took several days for electricity to be restored to our home, and life seemed so—different.
When you lose electricity, you quickly realize how much you normally take it for granted. All your routines are disrupted when the power is cut off: Walking through your home feels like driving at night in a strange city … You lie in bed perspiring at night because the overhead fan isn’t working … You move chairs or couches closer to a window so that you can read by daylight … You feel strangely disconnected without the ability to turn on a computer and check the Internet … Bathrooms turn as dark as a cave when you close the door … You find yourself wishing and praying for that magical moment when the lights suddenly come on again.
I’ve been thinking a lot these days about taking things for granted. I hardly think about stoplights, for example. Think about how dangerous it would be to drive without them. How about window screens that keep bugs out of the house? Fresh bananas available year-round at the store? Telephones and televisions?
I know I take computers for granted when I fall into a snit because my laptop takes “too long” to boot up. I used to take low gas prices for granted, but no more … those days are becoming a distant memory.
Of course, there are many things I’ve always appreciated. For example:
- A painting by Claude Monet.
- A happy and loyal dog greeting me at the door each night.
- A crisp, sunny day in the fall.
- A beach.
- A perfectly-cooked filet mignon.
- Chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven.
I wish I could put my wife on this last list, but there have been many times when I’ve taken her for granted. I can go days without even noticing all she does to build our relationship and keep our home functioning. When was the last time I thanked her just for doing the laundry, and for folding all those clothes?
As I think of Merry today, I keep focusing on the word “grace.” I don’t know if I’ve ever told her this, but God consistently uses her to show His grace to me and to others. I think of the fourth chapter of Ephesians, which tells us, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it may give grace to those who hear … Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (v. 29, 32).
That’s my wife. She’s not perfect, but usually the words that come from her mouth are wholesome and full of grace. They remind me that I am loved unconditionally—by God and by her—despite my flaws and my sin. Her words assure me that she is fully committed to me, that she will never leave me.
And those are things I should never take for granted.
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