Yesterday was bill paying day. When Linda and I finished and closed the budget spreadsheet, I was in a whiny mood. Who likes sending money out…paying bills?
But then a thought came to me, as though it were a rebuke from the Lord. “Look at all you get for what you pay!”
I have a warm house in the winter; a cool house in the summer. I have two reliable cars, also with heat and air. We turn a knob and we get our choice of hot or cold water. We turn another knob and we have fire to cook our food over. We have a cupboard full of food, as well as a fridge full of perishables that are kept from spoiling. We have clean clothes that wash relatively easily, and likewise with our clean dishes. We have light at night on demand, and access to the world through high speed internet, as well as with a crystal clear image on a television that beams images from around the world in real time.
You know I could go on and on. The fact that we can take hot showers whenever we want is something we rarely give a grateful thought to, but also something few people in all of history have been able to enjoy. Thinking about these things, and consciously thanking God for the blessings that come from the bills we pay, takes the sting out of paying them. When I remember, I take it a step further and pray for those who may be blessed or whose needs may be met, partially through those bills I am paying. All of a sudden, a distasteful task actually becomes enjoyable.
I’ve learned that this way of thinking is transferable to just about every aspect of life. The most distasteful tasks in the jobs we work are there because of blessings. I have to mow my lawn and shovel my driveway because I have beautiful green grass and a smooth concrete slab to pull my car onto. We have to clean our bathrooms because we have indoor plumbing and never need to run through the mud or snow in the middle of the night to go to an outhouse. I have to deal with staffing concerns and budgets and expenditures in the office because we have a great church that I get to be a part of.
Every distasteful thing in life has a blessing attached to it. If you look for those blessings and create this new way of thinking as a habit, you might just gain a renewed perspective in life that could be transformational. You have more control over your moods than you probably realize and it all starts with the way you think.
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NCV).