Last week my family and I spent a glorious week at the beach. We arrived on Sunday and the late October weather was sunny and 80 degrees all week. God knew that we were coming. We left the following Sunday and it was 33 degrees. He knew when we were leaving, too.
My only complaint (if you care to hear one from someone who was at the beach last week) was the ocean water temperature. It was a frigid 65 degrees. I Googled it. But did that deter my high-spirited 12 year old daughter Shelby from wanting to play in the ocean? Nope.
The better question, however is, did the icy water deter Shelby from nagging me to death until I got in the water with her? Nope. She kept insisting that the water wasn’t cold once you got used to it.
There is almost always something wrong with anything you have to get used to…like greens and turnips.
And besides, my toes told me that they wouldn’t be getting used to this arctic water anytime soon.
I tried reasoning with Shelby that whenever our temperature in the house dips below 68 degrees, she whines and cries about it and begs me to turn on the heat. But a wet, cold 65 degrees against my near naked body is ok. My argument didn’t convince her. The nagging continued. I could have stuck to my guns and kept saying no, but sometimes you just want to give your kids a gift…and this was one was free.
This experience did remind me that making the most out of life is so much about perspective. When you are excited about playing in the ocean then a wet 65 degrees isn’t an obstacle, but when you have to get out of bed in the morning, a 68 degree house is too cold.
It doesn’t seem rational. It’s all perspective.
Sunday night after we arrived at the beach I noticed that our van tire was 80% flat. My first response was frustration. We just got there! What a way to start a vacation. Then God quickly gave me a couple things to be thankful for. First, the tire wasn’t 100% flat. I didn’t have to change it. I could drive it a quarter mile to the convenience store and pump air into it and then pray that it would hold so that I could drive it the next morning. Secondly, the tire waited to go flat after we safely arrived at the beach. It didn’t blow out while driving and cause us to wreck or at the least, be stuck on the side of U.S. 74.
So I began to thank God for these blessings and His protection and this “problem” didn’t ruin my night. It was all a matter of a decision. I decided to “give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
The next morning I thanked God that I had $103 to pay for a new tire.
What if we always had a positive perspective of praise and thanks and saw things as God’s provision and protection?
I think we would begin to get our toes wet in the “living water” (John 4:10) that brings an abundant life. (John 10:10).
I’ll take that no matter the temperature.