Thursday, February 18, 2010

What a Jerk I've been!

I've been whining lately about the weather. This has been a more severe winter here (with ice, snow, and very cold temps) then we have had in the last 17 years. Although a few sick, twisted folks out there seem to like this weather, it has been tough on my old bones. We have cancelled more church activities this winter than any other year in my memory.

The (almost) daily ritual of shoveling out the driveways, and clearing off both cars has left me uncharacteristically dreading mornings. All of the shoveling on the steep driveways has put a real strain on my sore back, which was badly twisted in a fall in the church gym three weeks ago. Linda has heard me gripe about the snow ad infinitum. ("Get over it" is her most common reply.) Most of the folks I have talked with, feel the same way about the wintry blast as I do. Everywhere you go in this area, you'll hear comments like, "We can't stand any more of this global warming" or "I've had about all the winter I can take!" etc, etc, etc. Several of my Facebook posts have whined about the weather, and I guess I have just generally had a case of the winter blahs (or the "blobs" as Thamer Calhoun calls them).

That changed last night when I read something written by Mindi Bell Spurgeon. Mindi is a sweet young lady from our church who obviously has a pretty good handle on things. It really made me stop and think about my attitude in general. Here is what Mindi wrote:

"Tonight I am sick.I don't mean sniffle-sneeze-whine sick... I mean
I-wish-I-could-remove-my-stomach-and-rinse-it-out sick. This, of course, is never fun. While sitting, trying to calm down the barfy feeling (that is so obviously spending the night), I looked at my stomach and could see my heart beating... a soft pulse and a quick beat... over... and over... in a perfect rhythm. This got me thinking...This heart, this seemingly ordinary thing, is keeping me alive... keeping you alive. It's a most amazing blessing given to us by God, and when have I ever thanked Him for it? It's just another thing I take for granted. I am so extremely blessed that words would not suffice. The gifts God has given me are too high in number to ever be counted, and to know how much I've been given without telling you and giving God the credit would be a slap in the face to my Maker. So let this note (tiny as it is) be words of praise to my God, and a small reminder that even when we are at our worst, there is someone who loves us enough to give us that beating heart."

As Dr. Chuck Kelley would say, "to coin an ancient Hebrew term, 'WOW!'"

As I thought about what Mindi wrote, it came back to me, how much I have for which I should be truly thankful. According to the average survival time for patients with my type of "incurable" cancer, I should have been dead before December, 2006! And here I am in January of 2010, griping about something over which I have no control, and something that soon will pass anyhow. Furthermore, the Sovereign God who has chosen to spare my life all these extra years, has also determined that we need some cold and snow.

I feel like a fool - or at least like a jerk. The little chorus written below, should be a constant reminder not to forget all His benefits:

"Count your blessings, name them one by one.

Count your blessings see what God has done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one.

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done!"

Prayer: God, please forgive me for taking for granted your daily goodness and mercy toward me. Help me to remember to rejoice in the midst of all situations. I thought I had learned not to sweat the small stuff, but I guess I sometimes forget that it is basically ALL small stuff. It is my old nature to be a jerk. Please let your Holy Spirit "jerk" it out of me.


Pastor Bryan said...

Thank you for this, CJ. I needed to read this this morning. How often we take our blessings for granted. Like your son has tried to teach me, we are all cursed with "forgetfulness" when it comes to remembering how God takes care of us. I, for one, am extremely grateful for the extra time that God has given you! You have been such an encouragement and blessing on my life, and I thank you for that. Keep on keeping on, my friend!

1 Timothy 1:15-17

C.J. Adkins said...

Thanks Bryan. I appreciate the kind words. I love you, brother. By the way, want to go to the Philippines next Feb. It will be a fun trip,and lots of ministry opportunity and challenges with students there. Great growing experience. How 'bout it?