During my teen and young adult years, my mind sometimes ignored things my eyes saw. Back then, my little corner of the world was the most important thing to me, and there didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for anything else. As the years continued to pass, I managed to grow in wisdom and now see similar things, but in a different way—through the eyes of my heart.
You see, there was a time in life when I thought my family was at the center of the universe. I was living in a “me-me-me” world of selfishness, like many folks tend to do at times. I thought I was a good person, but there were times when I complained about insignificant things in life like:
- being uncomfortable while sleeping in my own bed on a cold-winter’s night… then I saw a homeless man sleeping on a park bench wearing tattered clothes and no shoes
- wearing glasses to restore my vision to 20/20… then I saw a blind man who was wearing a smile upon his face while whistling a cheerful tune as he walked by
- my old aching legs… then I saw a man who had no legs, yet he was laughing while playing catch in the yard with his son
- forgetting little, insignificant things… then I spoke to a friend who no longer remembers my name or the good times we once shared
I could continue my list of shallow complaints, but I’m sure you get the point. There are folks around us who are less fortunate than many of us, yet they are not complaining.
As I reflect on my poor-pitiful-me complaints, I have deep regrets for missing the opportunities I had to help others. A simple smile, kind gesture, or just saying hello could have made a small difference in someone’s day. I now see the plight of others with my heart and my mind understands how fortunate I am. I have so many blessings to be thankful for—far too numerous to count. Though some may seem small, each is a gift from God, and definitely much more than I deserve. I am truly blessed!
Now, I pray—Lord, I am grateful for the many gifts You have bestowed upon me. I ask that You give me the strength, courage, and desire to extend a helping hand to others who are in need while asking nothing of them in return. Help me to be a better person, and allow me to shine Your light upon others. For no matter the hurdles I encounter along my path, cheerfully supporting others I see on my journey is one of the greatest blessings I could ever receive. Amen.
Acts 20:35 (NIV)
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
John 3:17 (NIV)
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
Tom Tatum – Author – 2015
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum
Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels