Today we welcome one of our Converge Coaching teammates, Mary Selzer, to the blog. As we prepare our minds and hearts for Thanksgiving festivities, I hope this short and powerful piece of writing influences your heart and mind toward gratitude and joy ~ John.
Geneen Roth was one of 37,000 people financier Bernie Madoff defrauded out of $65 billion dollars over a seventeen-year period. Geneen and her husband lost thirty years of retirement savings. In her book Lost and Found, Roth tells how, shortly after learning the devastating news, she and some friends sat together and discussed their situations. Someone asked, “If you could have your money back right now, but it would mean giving up what you have learned by losing it, would you take the money, or would you take what losing the money has given you?”
This question landed hard for Geneen and her husband. They were still struggling to accept their new reality while they nursed the wounds inflicted by Madoff’s scheme. To their surprise, the other friends all said that what they now realized about themselves was incalculable, and they didn’t think it would have become apparent without the ground of financial stability being shaken.
One friend said, “I’d started to get complacent. It’s as if the muscles in my heart started to atrophy. Now they’re awake, alive—and I don’t want to go back.” Ironically, this man and his wife were taking in boarders to meet their expenses. One friend was so broke she had to move into someone’s garage apartment, while another one moved in with his children. Three friends had declared bankruptcy and weren’t sure where or how they were going to live.
Unfortunately, these people didn’t experience an awakening until they lost what was the most valuable to them—their investments. To Geneen’s credit, she eventually discovered a different metric to calculate wealth—recognizing and appreciating the little things that, for years, she had taken for granted.
Recently the Lord has awakened me to notice little things. It started soon after I lost my husband nearly three years ago. Before that, I never gave a second thought to changing lightbulbs or putting out the trash or filling the car with gas or mowing the lawn or changing air filters. Those were his jobs.
In thirty-nine years of marriage, I didn’t go near his toolchest. I didn’t need to. Then, several months ago when a dining room chair began to sag, I was very grateful for that toolchest. I’m not ashamed to say that I emerged from that task quite proud of myself for finding the right Philips screwdriver and knowing which way to turn it.
Little things. More than once I’ve laid my head on my pillow and thanked God for Mike Lindell, the My Pillow guy, who apparently is very concerned that I get a good night’s sleep. I have no clue who invented the water heater, but frequently I’ve prayed God’s blessing on that man’s family. Thank the Lord for the two guys who created the Keurig. And for the coffee plantation people who grow and harvest my coffee beans! They jump start my days. Oh, I almost forgot—central air! I took that for granted until last summer when mine went out during multiple days of 100+ degree temps.
I’m on a roll here and I can’t stop listing these little things. The biggest little thing, however, is the awareness that each small Godsend is given by a Father Who is interested in every minute aspect of my life. The more I see the little things, the more I’m grateful for the Source.
As Thanksgiving nears, let’s be more mindful of the little things so we can be more mindful of the great God Who cares about our everyday minutia.
I’ll start. My turkey baster. Your turn.
Cheering for you,