by Dennis Ensor
When a young friend of mine came home from a mission trip in a third world country, she walked into a room where her sister was in the process of severely scolding their mother for buying the wrong brand of designer socks. That conversation would not have seemed too unreasonable a few weeks earlier. But spending a week interacting with dozens of hungry, half-naked children, who are pretty much trapped in abject poverty for life has a tendency to change one’s perspective about such things.
Most likely, everyone who is reading this message has literally been blessed more than 99.9% of the people who have ever walked upon the face of the earth—more than even kings and queens from a century ago. We have indoor plumbing, clean drinking water, warmth in the winter and cool in the summer, a soft bed, clean clothes and food to eat. By pushing a button we can instantly talk to people hundreds of miles away. We can travel, in hours, distances that used to take months. The list could go on for quite awhile. Obviously, we are so blessed.
But if we are not careful, if we are not conscious of the facts, if we don’t stay focused on the realities of this, we might start complaining about something. We might get our feelings hurt if someone doesn’t treat us a certain way. We might feel cheated if someone else gets more than we do. And that list could go on as well.
With these things in mind, we each have a choice about how to approach life. As for me, I’ve decided to be content with where my life is. I’ll still work to make it better, but not from a point of frustration or sadness. I’ll choose to live each day from a position of gratitude—thankful for being allowed to live in this amazing time with these amazing blessings.
And though there is always something to complain about, nothing I can do is going to alter that. There will always be something to complain about—no matter what. It’s always been that way, and until Jesus comes, it’s always going to be that way. But there is always something to be grateful for too—no matter what. We can’t be focused on both. So we must choose. One leads to happiness, the other to distress. One leads to joy, the other to sorrow. One is attractive, the other repulsive. So what shall it be? It’s up to you. Choose wisely.