But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NIV)
I have gotten mighty comfortable, in my faith and in life in general, as I talked about in my last blog, but I have really be thinking a lot about what I’ve been through, what I haven’t had, where I’ve gotten to now, and the things I now have. A couple of events over the last couple of days have put things in a great perspective for me.
These events have really made me see how silly it is to complain about things I don’t have when so many others have so little. I should be grateful for having a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in and the material joys I have worked towards having in my life. I have taken the effort to dedicate my prayers the last few days to other people, because even though I complain about unnecessary things, other people don’t have those things to even complain about. They seem so trivial to me now.
The last few filled pages of my Prayer Journal have been covered in requests for the people who I have come across and who have affected me and put me in this new direction of thinking.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
Proverbs 20:1 (NIV)
The one that influenced my the most was last night. We met our downstairs neighbor.Richie had met her previously, very briefly, to let her know we would be moving in above her and that there might be some noise due to the move and he wanted to give an initial apology and that if the noise was to much that she could come up and tell us any time so that we could stop whatever was causing the noise. She seemed appreciative of this.
Well, last night she came up to us and started off with an apology for bothering us, and then led into saying that there seemed to be a constant noise coming from our apartment. i asked her if she heard Roxy moving around or did it sound like the TV or something, and she said she didn’t know we had a dog and really didn’t know what the noise was. We said we would try and figure out what was causing the noise and would make sure we limited the cause so she wasn’t bothered anymore. She left again with an apology and was appreciative that we said we would figure it out and put a stop to it.
After she left, me and Richie talked for a bit about what it could possibly be, and we had the obvious recollection of being upset at our previous neighbors for being so loud above us, and then having the realization that we were that person to her now. Me and Richie decided we should go down and ask if she would mind if we tested a few scenarios so we could try and pinpoint what the cause was. She was up for the task and let Richie in her foyer. He called me and we tested a few common household practices, since we weren’t doing anything unusual. In doing this we were able to pinpoint Roxy, our dog, as the culprit.
Richie came back up and said it was pretty loud, even though she is a whole 12lbs. Other than discussing the obvious, what we could do to limit her noise, he had mentioned that when he was in her apartment, she only had a few things in there, and the main things were juts a mattress on the floor and a tv in the living room. Now, I don’t know her story, or why she only has those few items in there, but I began to feel bad.
Here I am, right before she came upstairs to talk to us, complaining about how small the apartment was for us and why our internet and tv were on the fritz and other small things, and here she is, with barely an apartment downstairs below us, and we are causing issue for her.
Embarrassed by the problem we caused for her, ashamed of myself for the complaining I do all the time about things that others don’t even have to complain about, and left thinking about how good of a Christian am I for being so ungrateful for things I should be more than thankful I have. Especially since I have been in a position of having next to nothing.
I thought about how I could retrain my mind to be more aware of others circumstances, and of what I do have, and how quickly that can change. I meditated on this last night after all of this happened. I found 1 Timothy 6:6-8. It speaks about coming into this world with only nakedness, and leaving with only that. We don’t take these material things with us on our departure from earth.
I wanted to find another scripture and example to go forward with this new perspective. A Perspective I should have always had. I found Luke 6:38.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
So, to leave you with the most obvious;
Be grateful for the things that you do have. Have a good perspective of what others may not have, and do good with what you have. Be mindful of your complaints and instead of being ungrateful, give thanks and appreciate it because you never know when it might all be gone. Understand that what you do with what you have, will also be done to you.
Tonight I will go to bed mindful of what I have and what so many others do not. I will go forward knowing how much I need to do in this world to help those that need it. I want to use my station in life to improve others.