I spent most of Wednesday trying to work on having a thankful heart. I almost had it. It took every scripture verse in memory to get to a level of near-gratefulness, but then yesterday a blow came from out of nowhere that threatened to topple the card-house contentment I had so carefully constructed.
Short background: 2006 aims to be the leanest Christmas the Ridge fam has seen in quite awhile. If you are a small-business owner, you know that much of the time it is feast or famine, and this season happens to fall in famine. Meanwhile, I am working my tail off to make every extra cent to help Santa out. Rzzzm frzzm rzzm frzzm grrrr. Rachel Anne is grumpy-wumpy.
So yesterday, I am painting away at my client's indoor atrium, and my said client asks me to stop down and help her choose her new Mercedes.
Agonizingly torn between a hot red coupe and a granite gray sedan, it was a real $80,000.00 nail biter. This to add to their fleet of two Hummers, two other Mercedes, a Viper, an Infiniti and a Hemi truck.
Um, Lady, have ya seen what I drive? A '96 Ford Explorer doesn't exactly put me in a position to tell you which Mercedes makes a better statement.
Frankly, this situation would be like asking a starving person to help you decide between a Porterhouse with baked potato and baby carrots, or a T-bone with garlic mashed potatoes and tender asparagus shoots.
Or, like a skinny girl asking her chubby friend to help her decide which bikini she looks better in.
Cruel dagger. Salt on my wound. I almost laughed out loud, but instead I just looked up toward the heavens and whispered, "Thanks a lot."
Bad attitude firmly in place as I drove my '96 Ford Explorer home, I became engrossed in a story on the radio of a family whose hard times make mine look like a walk in the park. Birth defects, cancer, job loss, car accident, hurricane Katrina.....all happening to one family. Not to be melodramatic, but I felt hot tears of shame sting my eyes.
What an idiot I am to compare myself to a multi-millionaire, when what I take for granted is so much more than what someone else could dream of!
Health. Children. Food. Clothing. A job. A home. A Ford Explorer.
Phil. 4:11-13...I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
I'm throwing out my Wish List, and re-writing my Thanksgiving List. I'm rescinding the invitations to my Pity Party. With one week to go before Christmas I've got some work to do, starting with plowing up my own selfish heart and asking for a spirit of gratitude to take root.