I remember my first week of marriage.
We were 21, and it was the first time either of us had lived away from home. As we unpacked the contents of our bedrooms into our seemingly massive two-bedroom unit, as well as all our wedding presents, it occurred to us that man could not live on bedspreads alone. We needed a dustpan-and-brush, kitchen bin… washing-up liquid… and the list went on.
As we raced through the aisles of Franklins, you’d think we were kids in a candy shop – because all we seemed to focus on was candy. OK, slight exaggeration, but we still laugh today about the excitement my hubby felt about being able to buy things his parents had never stocked in the pantry. Like ‘Space Food Sticks’ and all manner of crisp delights, fizzy drink and sugary, tangy substances…
And yes, in all the joy we still remembered the dustpan-and-brush. But it was hardly front-of-mind.
There’s so much we took for granted before we moved out of home. Dinner would be mostly provided without much effort on our part, though the washing-up chore afterwards felt like an eternity… We didn’t have to worry about purchasing household supplies. Things like rakes and lawnmowers were foreign objects. And somehow, the washing would always end up clean and folded on our beds at the end of the week.
Sure, we wanted to move out and start a new life on our own, but doing things for ourselves for the very first time made us appreciate just what our families did for us.
I wonder how much I am taking for granted in my life right now… Not that I want to berate myself for not being more appreciative, but I think sometimes it’s worth considering just how much we have, and who’s really picking up the tab. Because when we consider the many ways we are truly being looked after, it can change our perspective…
Here’s a few to start with:
1. As an Australian, I am one of the wealthiest people in the world (see http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/luxury/australians-the-worlds-wealthiest-20111101-1mt2r.html).
2. I have a roof over my head, electricity, fresh water, clean air around me, access to high-quality education, technology, and endless opportunities. I am blessed with good friends and family members that love me. I am not orphaned, nor ever completely alone.
3. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the one who created me. He died and rose to life, so that even if I didn’t have any of the things above, I’d still be blessed, because when I die I’ll return to him and live with him forever.
4. I was created with a purpose that isn’t just about this life, but has an impact on the next.
5. I am loved by God. Deeply. Despite everything.
I reckon that’s a few steps better than being able to stock your cupboard with Space Food Sticks, as fun as that grocery shop was! I’m so thankful that no matter what happens, God is picking up the tab. Yes, there are still earthly consequences for my less-than-wise decisions – but my Heavenly Father is graciously taking care of me – forever providing for me, teaching me, forgiving me, and guiding me to help me live a better life. And he’ll never leave me or let me down. I am grafted into his eternal, big-picture plan for the world, and a relationship with him has flow-on effects beyond what I could imagine. He’s the best parent I could ever ask for, and he’s with me wherever I go, and in every life situation I face.
That’s more than I could ever ask for.